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By Geoff Metcalf

December 13, 2006

British journalist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard once observed: "The American elite�is almost beyond redemption. Moral relativism has set in so deeply that the gilded classes have become incapable of discerning right from wrong. Everything can be explained away, especially by journalists. Life is one great moral mush � sophistry washed down with Chardonnay." And whether you use Chardonnay or Single Malt Scotch, the bad after taste will linger.

The release of the report by the �bipartisan� Iraq Study Group headed by former Secretary of State Jim Baker and former Democrat Congressman Lee Hamilton personifies that Evans-Pritchard observation. No surprise the New York Post lampooned Baker and Hamilton as elitists depicting them as �surrender monkeys.�

Moderates are urging a sea change in policy. Many conservatives are denouncing the report as unacceptable retreat. Senator John McCain has embraced a harder position on Iraq, calling for an immediate increase in American forces.

Frankly, the ISG is way more form than substance. It is a major stroke to appease popular perception. If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, this group has given the camel two necks and three humps.

Ugly facts remain axiomatic. Over two years ago, I wrote,

  • We ARE at war!
  • We cannot appease the terrorists.
  • We cannot compromise with them.
  • We cannot give them anything to make them happy or go away.
  • They want us DEAD.

That has not changed.

The war on terror is being called the "Third Great Jihad" by the Jihadists for a reason. They are �trying� to recreate the dynamics that sparked the first two centuries of the religion. This is why our enemies love the Neville Chamberlainish Baker/Hamilton approach.

Meanwhile war critics, our mainstream media and yes, the Iraq Study Group are complicit in accommodating the bad guys.

Our Arab and Persian enemies don�t like us. We can�t do or say anything (short of conversion to Islam) that will make them like or even accept us. They do (in varying degrees) respect us. Actually, the respect our capacity for strength even though everything else �western� is anathema to them.

Appeasement, accommodation, compromise and any and all efforts to �make nice� are viewed, perceived and accepted as weakness. Weakness can and will be exploited. The ISG�s lofty grasp for reason and compromise (and the administration�s equivocation) merely underscores a weakness in which our enemies rejoice.

Jean Monnet was a cognac distiller and statesman who said, �The great thing about making cognac is that it teaches you above everything else to wait�� The microwave minds of the ISG could never make cognac.

From March 19, 2003 when the �coalition of the willing� invaded Iraq to May of 2003 when Phase One concluded the primary objective was to remove Saddam from power. After that we became like the Robert Redford character in the movie �The Candidate� who after finally having won, sat in the dark and asked himself �Now what?�

Three years ago (March 2003) I said my primary concern was that politics would take over the war fighting. The administration was letting the war fighters fight the war. Victory was assured unless or until politics was allowed to muck up the war plan. Well, the ISG is that feared formula for mucking things up.

There is clarity in the chaos of war that no analysts, pundit, or gilded elitist will ever perceive.

The ISG blew off frequently discussed options: staying the course (�unsustainable�). Radically increasing troop numbers, dividing the country along ethnic lines (�precipitating withdrawal�)�They instead offered 79 recommendations�mostly urging we do less until Iraqi does more.

Specifically the ISG propose three key policies.

1. Change the primary mission toward support and training. Good idea!
2. Performance-related management�helping Iraqis to help themselves but with negative consequences if/when they fail. Good idea!
3. Engaging Iraq neighbors to stabilize the region? Myopic and Nuts!

What incentive or motivation is there for Iran or Syria to help stabilize a U.S. manufactured democracy? None! Strategically and tactically, neither Iran nor Syria wants the U.S. to succeed. Both Persian and Arab want to co-opt Iraq and alienate it from the west.

Former Assistant Secretary of Defense and correspondent for �The Atlantic,� Bing West says, �We must be prepared to let Maliki (Iraq Prime Minister) fail and not fail with him. We are training Iraqi troops to be the cement holding Iraq together in place of Americans. We should not be blind to the choice that opens.�

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Maliki wants full control and intends to cover for Shiite wack-job Moktada Sadr (who ought to be taking a dirt nap). That is a choice that unacceptable for reasons far beyond our win loss tally.

The Baker report is defeatism personified. They don�t call it quitting, but that is what it is.

� 2006 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved

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"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Visit Geoff's

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The forces of evil that remain intent on destroying the United States are real. They cannot be appeased, accommodated, or bribed into playing nice.