Powered by WebAds

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Peace for our time?

Insight Magazine is reporting that one of the proposals made by the Iraq Study Group, led by James "F**k the Jews, they don't vote for us anyway" Baker, is to hold a Madrid-type conference over the future of Israel, to which Israel would not be invited:
The White House has been examining a proposal by James Baker to launch a Middle East peace effort without Israel.

The peace effort would begin with a U.S.-organized conference, dubbed Madrid-2, and contain such U.S. adversaries as Iran and Syria. Officials said Madrid-2 would be promoted as a forum to discuss Iraq's future, but actually focus on Arab demands for Israel to withdraw from territories captured in the 1967 war. They said Israel would not be invited to the conference.

“As Baker sees this, the conference would provide a unique opportunity for the United States to strike a deal without Jewish pressure,” an official said. “This has become the most hottest proposal examined by the foreign policy people over the last month.”

Officials said Mr. Baker's proposal, reflected in the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, has been supported by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns and National Intelligence Director John Negroponte. The most controversial element in the proposal, they said, was Mr. Baker's recommendation for the United States to woo Iran and Syria.


Officials said the Baker proposal to exclude Israel from a Middle East peace conference garnered support in the wake of Vice President Dick Cheney's visit to Saudi Arabia on Nov. 25. They said Mr. Cheney spent most of his meetings listening to Saudi warnings that Israel, rather than Iran, is the leading cause of instability in the Middle East.

“He [Cheney] didn't even get the opportunity to seriously discuss the purpose of his visit—that the Saudis help the Iraqi government and persuade the Sunnis to stop their attacks,” another official familiar with Mr. Cheney’s visit said. “Instead, the Saudis kept saying that they wanted a U.S. initiative to stop the Israelis’ attack in Gaza and Cheney just agreed.”


“Baker sees his plan as containing something for everybody, except perhaps the Israelis,” the official said. “The Syrians would get back the Golan, the Iranians would get U.S. recognition and the Saudis would regain their influence, particularly with the Palestinians.”
Not everyone is against us though:
In contrast, Defense Department officials have warned against granting a role to Iran and Syria at Israel's expense. They said such a strategy would also end up undermining Arab allies of the United States such as Egypt, Jordan and Morocco.

“The regional strategy is a euphemism for throwing Free Iraq to the wolves in its neighborhood: Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia,” said the Center for Security Policy, regarded as being close to the Pentagon. “If the Baker regional strategy is adopted, we will prove to all the world that it is better to be America's enemy than its friend. Jim Baker's hostility towards the Jews is a matter of record and has endeared him to Israel's foes in the region.”
But the new Secretary of Defense is against us:
But Defense Secretary-designate Robert Gates, a former colleague of Mr. Baker on the Iraq Study Group, has expressed support for U.S. negotiations with Iran and Syria. In response to questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee, which begins confirmation hearings this week, Mr. Gates compared the two U.S. adversaries to the Soviet Union.

“Even in the worst days of the Cold War, the U.S. maintained a dialogue with the Soviet Union and China, and I believe those channels of communication helped us manage many potentially difficult situations,” Mr. Gates said. “Our engagement with Syria need not be unilateral. It could, for instance, take the form of Syrian participation in a regional conference.”
For those who need a history lesson, allow me to remind you what happened at the Munich 'Conference.'
The Munich Agreement (Czech: Mnichovská zrada; German: Münchner Abkommen) was an agreement regarding the Sudetenland Crisis between the major powers of Europe after a conference held in Munich, Germany in 1938 and signed on September 29.

The Sudetenland was an area of Czechoslovakia where ethnic Germans formed a majority of the population. The Sudetenland was of immense strategic importance to Czechoslovakia, as most of its border defenses were situated there, along with a huge armament facility, the Škoda Works. The purpose of the conference was to discuss the future of Czechoslovakia, and it ended up surrendering much of that state to Nazi Germany. It is considered by many as a major example of appeasement. Because Czechoslovakia was not invited to the conference, the Munich Agreement is commonly called the Munich Dictate by Czechs and Slovaks. The phrase Munich betrayal is also frequently used, especially because of military alliances between Czechoslovakia and France and between France and Britain, that were not taken into account.

Because Adolf Hitler soon violated the terms of the agreement, it has often been cited in support of the principle that tyrants should never be appeased. Others, however, believe that starting World War II over the German-majority Sudetenland would have been foolhardy, akin to starting World War I over competing claims to part of Serbia.
Strikingly similar, isn't it? For those who don't recognize him, the picture at the top of this post is of then-British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlin holding the paper containing the resolution to commit to peaceful methods signed by both Hitler and himself on his return from Germany in September 1938. He said:

My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time.

A year later, Europe was at war.

Jeff Jacoby has more on the comparison between the Iraq Study Group recommendations and Munich 1938:
As things stand now, however, negotiating with Iran and Syria over the future of Iraq is about as promising a strategy for preventing more bloodshed as negotiating with Adolf Hitler over the future of Czechoslovakia was in 1938. There were eminent "realists" then too, many of whom were gung-ho for cutting a deal with the Fuehrer. As Neville Chamberlain set off on the diplomatic mission that would culminate in Munich, William Shirer recorded in "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," Britain's poet laureate, John Masefield, composed a paean in his honor . When the negotiations were done and Czechoslovakia had been dismembered, the prime minister was hailed as a national hero. The Nobel Committee received not one, not two, but 10 nominations proposing Chamberlain for the 1939 peace prize.

Chamberlain and his admirers had been certain that Munich would bring "peace in our time." Instead it helped pave the way for war.

How many times does the lesson have to be relearned? There is no appeasing the unappeasable. When democracies engage with fanatical tyrants, the world becomes not less dangerous but more so.

That wasn't the fashionable view in 1938, however, and it isn't popular today. According to a new World Public Opinion poll, 75 percent of Americans agree that to stabilize Iraq, the United States should enter into talks with Iran and Syria. "I believe in talking to your enemies," James Baker declares. "I don't think you restrict your conversations to your friends."

But with totalitarian regimes like those in Iran and Syria, the effect of such "conversations" is usually negative. It buys time and legitimacy for the totalitarians, while deepening their conviction that the West has no stomach for a fight. No one was more pleased with Chamberlain's diplomacy than Hitler, for it proved that Germany was in the saddle, riding the democracies -- that the momentum was with Berlin, while London and Paris were flailing. The Baker panel's recommendations will bring similar satisfaction to Tehran and Damascus.


The war against radical Islam, of which Iraq is but one front, cannot be won so long as regimes like those in Tehran and Damascus remain in power. They are as much our enemies today as the Nazi Reich was our enemy in an earlier era. Imploring Assad and Ahmadinejad for help in Iraq can only intensify the whiff of American retreat that is already in the air. The word for that isn't realism. It's surrender.
Read the whole thing.


At 2:40 AM, Blogger John Brown said...

Mobilized with more than 200 nukes in violation of the NPT, massacring the indigenous Semitic people of Palestine day after day after day, Apartheid Israel is the crazed invader.

There are similarities to the Nazis, to be sure. Avgidor Lieberman comes across as a new breed of Hitler for certain.

At 5:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy it stinks in here!

At 11:23 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Carl, you've got it right. Baker's regional strategy and conference can't be permitted.

It was wrong of the West to sacrifice Czechoslovakia 70 years ago, and it'll be equally wrong (and futile) to sacrifice Israel today.

John Brown: First, treaties apply when countries sign on, and Israel never signed the NPT (or admitted having nukes). Iran did sign, and is working hart to violate it.

Second: The palestinian Arabs are not indigenous; they migrated in from other Arab nations over the last 1000 years. However, there is a 3000 year continuous Jewish presence in Israel.

Third: It is a matter of record that the IDF tries hard to avoid killing civilians. Why else would the terrorists (who have no such compunctions) be so fast to use human shields?

Fourth: Unlike Hitler, Lieberman is not in a position to force his program on anyone. He is not even universally liked in Israel.

Last: Maybe you should learn something about the subject before opening your mouth.

At 1:48 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


Much less than 1000 years. Mark Twain described Israel as deserted in the 1870's! Most of the Arabs who immigrated to Israel did so after the Jews started arriving en masse from Europe. This is documented in "From Time Immemorial."

At 5:13 PM, Blogger Michael said...

Carl: you are partly correct.

Israel had no more than a fraction of its potential inhabitants until the waves of Zionist Aliyah began in the late 1800's.

However, there were peolpe here, they were Arabs, and they had only arrived in trickles over the previous 800 to 1000 years.

Which doesn't negate the historical fact of a 3000 year, continuous, Jewish presence in our homeland.

At 11:11 PM, Blogger Billy Hallowell said...

The public's perception on issues of diplomacy is very interesting. No doubt, this is a complicated issue. I thought you may be interested to know that, generally speaking, the public consistently favors diplomacy over force in foreign affairs. According to our Foreign Policy Index, 61% of Americans favor more emphasis on diplomatic and economic methods when it comes to fighting terrorism. Contact me for more or go to http://www.publicagenda.org/issues/major_proposals_detail.cfm?issue_type=americas_global_role&list=2 for more information.

At 10:45 AM, Blogger Michael said...

The public should always prefer diplomacy; no one ever wants a war.

But no one should ever take terrorism lying down, either.


Post a Comment

<< Home