Baker’s Iraq Study Group

Posted by Cutler on October 10, 2006
Iran, Iraq, Right Arabists

In a previous post I suggested that it would be very peculiar if Jame A. Baker, III–one of the leading Right Arabists in the foreign policy Establishment–embraced plans for a decentralized Iraq, as reported by the London Times.

I did not know, at that time, that Baker had appeared on ABC’s “This Week” the day before, talking about Iraq. I still have not seen an on-line transcript of the interview. But the Associated Press (via the International Herald Tribune) has offered up some quotes that only add to my sense that Baker is likely to favor an anti-Shiite coup, rather than regional autonomy for Shiites and Kurds.

Baker said, “if we picked up and left right now” Iraq would be plunged into “the biggest civil war you’ve ever seen,” with Turkey, Iran, Syria and other neighboring countries getting involved…

“[At the end of Operation Desert Storm in 1991,…] [a]s much as Saddam’s neighbors wanted to see him gone, they feared Iraq would fragment in ways that would play into the hands of Islamic fundamentalists in Iran,” Baker said.

Today in Iraq, “The risk is certainly there, the same risk,” Baker said.

Same risk. Same neighbors. Same Baker.

2 Comments to Baker’s Iraq Study Group

  • I saw Baker on O’Reilly a few days back. What struck me was how careful he was to not criticize Bush or the invasion of Iraq (though I can’t imagine he’s approving of either–as you say, same Baker). I argue here that he’s decided that now the US is there it should stay there. If the US should stay, then those in power need to close ranks, defend what has already happened and line up the public behind whatever course Bush follows now.

  • Same impression here. If Baker is turning the partition card down, that leaves only one left to play — givin the (Warner) 60 day ultimatum — yes, the joker. And it makes sense to have the Eisenhower strike flotilla in place as it goes down just in case a Gulf of Tonkin incident is needed to hit Iran, blaming them for the chaos that will surely insue.

Leave a Reply