Tom Hayden on the Iraq Study Group

[Hayden] said that co-chairman Lee Hamilton had telephoned him and they talked at some length about Tom’s ideas on the Iraq War. But he said the ISG is shaping up to be a political exercise in which they try to develop a “no-fault” kind of solution that would start an American withdrawal but never actually get there. He’s expecting what I’ve called Baker’s Secret Plan to End the War to be a lot like Nixon’s Vietnamization plan after he got elected President with a secret plan to end that war.

Absent in any Baker plan is the slightest concern for Iraq or Iraqis. Instead, it’s all about the U.S.; how to avoid a military defeat, how to save face, and most important, how to keep control of Iraq and the oil. Their secret plan (and delusion) is that the shooting will end with the U.S. in political control of the country. This of course, has nothing to do with peace and everything to do with attempted U.S. dominance in the area.

He thought that Baker and the administration for Iraq will probably want a short-term increase in the number of American troops to secure Baghdad and also to replace the Maliki government with a strongman-type regime. He stressed that politicians are especially good at double-talk, so the antiwar movement will have to keep the pressure on all of them to continue to pull the troops out.

Ah, send more troops and install a dictator. Well, Saddam is available, maybe they’d like to back him again? Oh wait, wasn’t this supposed to be about bringing democracy to Iraq? Guess not, instead, it’s just more militarism and force in a doomed attempt to delay the inevitable. That they care nothing about how many Iraqis and Americans are killed and maimed by their blood lust for empire and oil is obvious.

And they will lose. James Baker is Rumsfeld Lite, arrogant and clueless.

  • Iraq needs mercenaries for peace

    As Venezuelans know so well, it is impossible to build a real democracy upon abundant oil. Democracy is about creating a level playing field, and, therefore, if you want a real chance at democracy in an oil-rich land like Iraq, you need first to distribute their oil revenues equally among all their citizens. For Iraq, distributing their oil revenues upfront, in cash, would carry a special significance since not only would it help to solve the problem of their oil being located only in some parts of the country, but it would also foster an additional bond of national identity among all the Iraqis, be they Sunnis, Shiites, or Kurds. The possibility for each citizen to receive perhaps a couple of thousand dollars a year would promote interest in reaching normality. The World Bank could be the perfect candidate to help implement a very transparent sharing of the oil revenues for Iraq.

    In a world where so frequently mercenaries are used for wars, why don’t we help Iraq contract their own citizens, using their own money, to be mercenaries for peace?

    Per Kurowski
    A former Executive Director of the World Bank (2002-2004)

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