Can Someone Explain to Me How This is RealismWe've been hearing over and over that the purported plan of the Iraq Study group is to offer incentives to Iran and Syria to help the US in Iraq.
Iran and Syria.
Iran and Syria?
How is this realism rather than stupidity? It's mortgaging an evanescent present for the future. No one will actually believe we are saving face by doing this. The entire world will simply laugh.
Now that the terrorists are finally winning with the fruits of the Democrat victory in the US still to come, how is offering them economic incentives a viable plan? Won't they simply take them, continue their activities and laugh themselves silly.
Moreover, this is the same "realism" that sold out Lebanon to Syria after our marines were killed there by the proto-Hezbollah movement, which sold out the Kurds and the Shi'ites to Saddam after Bush I. Haven't we already seen how well that worked out for all involved?
It's just a return to the policy of Bush I that won't actually work, will create greater problems for us in the long term - which we will conveniently ignore until, like Afghanistan abandoned, it blows up in our faces - and will alienate a great deal of the base.
David Frum, a co-author of Mr Bush’s 2002 “Axis of Evil” speech, told The Times that Mr Baker was now “Secretary of State in all but name”, and that the appointment of Mr Gates signalled a new phase of foreign policy where negotiation, and carrots rather than sticks, would dominate.
Frank Gaffney, a Pentagon official under Ronald Reagan, described Mr Gates’s appointment as the “beginning of the Baker regency”. Mr Frum said that he suspects Mr Baker is already negotiating with Tehran — a policy he deplores — and that he believed the White House will offer Iran both an end of sanctions and a “sphere of influence” in Iraq.
Mr Brzezinski told The Times that Mr Gates’s nomination was the beginning of a “major corrective” in US foreign policy on the Middle East.
“The most immediate change will be in tone and style because he is a very different personality to Rumsfeld,” Mr Brzezinski said. “Long-term changes probably involve a more open-minded reassessment of what has been going on because he is less inclined to be sympathetic to the neo- con perspective.”
Related: Dean Barnet asks:
SO WHAT KIND OF SECRETARY OF DEFENSE will Bob Gates be? I don’t know for sure and more ominously, I bet the White House doesn’t either. Personally, I find more to fear in his appointment than I do in Alcee Hastings’, but we’ll give him a chance. If the country is about to re-embrace Scowcroftian realism, we’re about to realize a hard lesson about that policy’s limitation. And if the military is going to return to worrying about the enemies it chooses instead of the enemies that choose us, we’ll have bigger troubles still.
UPDATE: There was a time when Baker knew that Iraq and Iran were two different countries, but his policy of giving carrots seems unchanged.
Omri Ceren at Mere Rhetoric asks whether Mr. Bush interest in RMA doctrine - revolution in military affairs has turned out to be merely rhetoric? Or has Rummy sufficiently worked changes at the Pentagon so that he no longer needs to be there to implement the changes? Still:
Maybe if Gates wasn't a Cold Warrior of precisely the opposite sensibilities of Cheney and Rumsfeld the conclusions wouldn't be as inescabable. But Rumsfeld is hated in the Pentagon far more for RMA than Iraq, and now it looks like the President is giving up on RMA.