Prague Twin

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Baker on Tap

With the Baker commission nearly ready to issue their report and the president having already been briefed on his options, there will be serious choices to be made. Baker's commission will issue a series of recomendations on what to do in Iraq. I imagine that there will be certain key words which may reveal the general plan. Let me consider three key words that we might hear: unity, seperation, and cooperation. Which will be the most likely to be heard, and what will it mean if we hear it?

Talk of unity will probably mean a coup on al-Maliki and the instalation of a strongman as this moonie times article suggests. I think this is unlikely because the "unity government" was the old path, Bush's path, and it isn't working. Installing a secular Shi'ite might be an improvement, but only marginally so. A secular strongman reeks of Saddam, and in the end will just mean a new boss and the same old problems. Some new path has to be entertained.

Talk of seperation, like the Biden plan outlines, is unlikely to produce positve results and it is unlikely that Baker and his commission will go this route. Biden's plan is to essentially break Iraq into the three obvious groups and high tail it the hell out. Well, you could do that, but it won't be pretty. And in the case of population centers, it would cause massive killing and displacement (yes, even more). Bush will not accept any such plan, nor would the conservative Baker. It is much too bold with too many negative possibilities arising. Baker is a balance of power type and Bush will put his foot down on this option, I believe.

What is likely is that we will hear talk of cooperation. This will probably mean limited autonomy but how that all breaks down I could only guess. Clearly, though, they have some things in mind. Baker said, "I happen to think, and I think it's fair to say our commission believes, that there are alternatives between the stated alternatives ... of stay the course and cut and run."

Well said Mr. Baker. That's just what I was thinking and let's hope you're right. Shall we discuss the failings of a two-party system now?

No, let's not. Because right now I'm waiting with baited breath for your report. It must be hard to finalize with the situation on the ground constantly changing. I'm sure you must have 50 revisions by now to match the 50 hostages taken today....

.....but let's just see what you have.

(Be sure to click on this first link. Take a moment to analyze that photo. A fly on the wall in that room after the press vacated was treated to some choice moments.)


  • Here is the earliest story I could find on Lazy Ramadi. I read about these two in the LA Times around the time that this story was filed.

    By Blogger copy editor, at 1:26 AM  

  • PT

    Great post. In the long run (really long run) do you think the Biden plan might work? I must admit that while I don’t really care for Biden, it seems that his plan is a thoughtful one.

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 3:17 PM  

  • Honestly I don't think it will work. I didn't get into it in the post, but I think the Biden plan will accelerate the killing and plunge the west into further chaos. Also, it will embolden the Kurds who could be in open war with the Turks shortly thereafter (not to mention Syria and Iran).

    Finally, and most importantly, the Shi'a will then control Baghdad and the south, stregthen ties with Iran, and pose a very serious threat to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

    At least that is my take.

    Thanks for the complement, and be sure to check out the "Lazy Ramadi" link above. Hillarious.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 4:54 PM  

  • PT and Arch,

    For a well articulated argument for partition, go to and listen to the ineterview w/ Peter Galbraith, the former U.S. embassador to Croatia; advisor to Iraqi Kurds on constitutional issues; and author of "The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War Without End" which aired on yesterday's (11.14.06) All Things Considered.

    By Anonymous Tony Sokolow, at 8:46 PM  

  • Thanks Tony.

    I'll check it out.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 10:27 AM  

  • I believe the US must leave Iraq. The congress needed to cut funding. We do an orderly pull out, tell the world we are sorry, and let the Iraqis sort their shit out.

    By Blogger GraemeAnfinson, at 7:21 PM  

  • I hear you Graeme, but unfortunately that would mean that the hawks will blame the peace-movement for the failure, just like Viet Nam, and we will be doomed to repeat the mistake again.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 10:32 AM  

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