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Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Who's Running This Show: Talking With The "Nexus"

Last night Thomas posted a ripping commentary on Reuters, and their reporting of the White House's reference to Iran as a "nexus of terrorism." Last night, Allah over at Hot Air posted up a note regarding possible talks with this nation and others in the region.

While Gates backs Britain’s proposal for talks with Iran, Syria and other regional powers, it would require a volte-face at the White House. “We’re certainly capable of being a bridge, but the Bush administration would have to change its tone a lot,” said a British diplomatic source.

Sir Nigel Scheinwald, Blair’s foreign policy adviser, paid a secret visit to President Bashar al-Assad last month, but the reaction of the Americans to the initiative was disappointing. “I was surprised they didn’t go towards meeting us halfway,” the source added. “Their reaction was vitriolic: it was, ‘We’ll never speak to these people’.”

The extent of any Iranian co-operation in a grand regional bargain is also open to question. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei hailed Bush’s defeat in the mid-term elections last week as a victory for Tehran. He has rightly concluded that a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities is off the agenda.

Taking the idea of possible military strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities is a serious mistake. Even more the the Times Online story also reveals something more about Bob Gates that should all give us a moment of pause:

Bush claimed last week that he was “open to any ideas” on how to win in Iraq. He is to meet members of the Baker commission tomorrow to discuss their thinking. On Tuesday Tony Blair will give evidence to them by video link. He will urge the Bush administration to open talks with Iran and Syria on a Middle East settlement.

Gates will not take much persuading from Blair, having argued for dialogue with Iran two years ago. “He comes from the old Bush 1 school that it’s important to talk to your enemies, but we can’t underestimate the role the president plays in all this and he’s been pretty intransigent,” said a colleague on the Iraq Study Group.

Talk with Iran and Syria? Sure. How about this. End your nuclear program, quit sending men and munitions into Iraq, and we won't blow the heck out of your countries? Look, I'm with the kids on this. The loss this past Tuesday has put me in a foul mood regarding the adsministration and how it wants to finish up these next two years in Iraq. Talking with Iran is a mistake. And bringing Gates in is a mistake. You need a Sec/Def that knows how to handle the war, not one who is willing to sit down and talk to our enemies. It is apparent to me, at least, that people like Condi Rice (who has recently waffled on the United Nations response to the Israel/Hezbollah war) and Bob Gates that they clearly underestimate our enemy. Any negotiations won't be made in good faith from our opposition. They have never abided by any agreement struck, and that goes all the way back to Mohammed's time.

Allah also notes that is seems that Gates was chosen because he and Condi work better together than she and Rumsfeld, which ought to scare a lot of people. State has been a thorn in the president's side for five years, and Condi's recent actions and statements make it seem as though State has the lead on foreign policy rather than the president. Personally, I think Condi should have stayed on as the National security Advisor rather than being shifted to Sec/State.

While Mr. Gates, a former director of central intelligence, had long been considered for a variety of roles, over the past two months Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, quietly steered the White House toward replacing Donald H. Rumsfeld with Mr. Gates, who had worked closely with Ms. Rice under the first President Bush. One senior participant in those discussions, who declined to be identified by name while talking about internal deliberations, said, “everyone realizes that we don’t have much time to get this right” and the first step is to get “everyone driving on the same track.”

And if anyone thought the Times couldn't bring up another mistake, think again, and pray this isn't the option chosen:

But Mr. Hussein’s outbursts served to remind many Iraqis, even those who hated him most, of something they crave in the rudderless nightmare Iraq has become under his successors: a strong leader, able to forge a nation from the country’s fractious ethnic and religious groups, and to end the current wave of sectarian bloodletting that, left to build on itself, could ultimately match the mass killing that characterized Mr. Hussein’s psychopathic years in power.

It is something ordinary Iraqis say with growing intensity, even as they agree on little else. Let there be a strongman, they say, not a relentless killer like Saddam Hussein but somebody who will take the hammer to the insurgents and the death squads and the kidnappers and the criminal gangs who have banished all pretense of civility from their lives.

Let him ride roughshod, if he must, they say, over the niceties of due process and human rights, indeed over the panoply of democratic institutions America has tried to implant here, if only he can bring peace.

The message appears, so far, to have found little resonance in Washington as President Bush sets out, after the shock of the midterm elections, to review American policy on Iraq. The closest anyone with the White House’s ear has come to suggesting anything short of democratic rule, let alone an authoritarian model typical of other countries in the Middle East, are leaks from the bipartisan commission headed by James A. Baker III and Lee H. Hamilton, which is charged with suggesting a new American approach to Iraq; some of its members have said that the group has considered recommending that stability, rather than democracy, should become the principal objective there.

If this is the Baker Team's reccomendation, then it's time we hand Mr. Baker his hat, and wish him a fond farewell. The title of the piece is "Could A New Strongman Be Needed," and I have to question such a mentality. In essence, Baker's group is offering an idea that we should put another guy in charge--blowing off the work that the Iraqis have done thus far in establishing a new, democratic government. Another dictator is what they offer the administration. Gee, I wonder if Baker has someone in mind, like say Moqtada al-Sadr? Gates is so hot-to-trot over talking with Iran, and al-Sadr is a Shi-ite cleric from Iran. These "old guard" dogs can't seem to get past the past; they're content with making similar mistakes that led us to this path to begin with.

Gates is a bad choice, and his ideas are going to hurt the war effort more than help it. The idea that we could negotiate with Iran and Syria is simply insane. I don't know who's running the show in DC, but someone had better come to grips with reality and soon.

Sabrina McKinney


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