Much ink flows on the subject of "Bush Senior's men," such as James Baker. Bush Senior, of course, is the former President who picked up a cool million for one speech delivered to a grateful Kuwait. (Remember plucky little Kuwait, the country that those awful Iraqis seized, and that it was necessary for the Americans to go to war to oust them, and above all to thereby relieve any worries in Saudi Arabia?) Bush Senior, of course, is the man who send Prince Bandar to teach his son, the current president, all about world affairs (see Woodward's book).
James Baker is a fixer, and friend of Saudi Arabia. His role is to find some face-saving way to get out of Iraq, because the current president is unable to frame things correctly, unable to recognize that he is trying to snatch a prolonged and agonizing defeat from the jaws of victory. He is doing so by staying in Iraq and trying to dampen its ethnic and especially sectarian hostilities, rather than recognizing the "victory" that was assured when Saddam Hussein's regime was overthrown. That unrecognized "victory" (but recognized over and over again here) is that which results from what was not a result of American mishaps and misjudgments, but rather the inevitable result of the Shi'a coming into their own once the Sunni despot was removed. For nothing on earth will get the Sunni Arabs of Iraq to acquiesce in their new position, a position that properly reflects their constituting a mere 19% of the population, and having supported, actively or passively, the Sunni Arab discrimination, persecution, and outright mass murder of both Shi'a Arabs and Kurds.
What will the Baker Commission do?
Here are some things it won't do:
1) It won't demonstrate that its members have studied, and thoroughly assimilated, the central role of Jihad in the belief-system of Islam.
2) It won't demonstrate that its members understand that the instruments of Jihad are many, and that the most effective and at this point, therefore, most dangerous, are targeted and well-financed campaigns of Da'wa in the West, and demographic conquest, speeding up, in many of the countries of Western Europe.
3) It won't demonstrate an understanding that it is pointless to believe, or what's worse, to ask Israel to believe, that any treaties arrived at between Israel and Muslim states will ever be kept by the Muslim side. Those treaties are only entered into by Muslims for the sole purpose of buying time. Or, in the case of the "Palestinians" right now, they are entered into in order to start up again the disguised Jizyah payments of European and American foreign aid, when it is clear that the rich Arabs should be the ones supporting fellow members of the Muslim umma, and not Infidels. Those Infidels now incur many tens of billions of dollars in new expenses as a result of the need to monitor Muslim populations, and to guard airports, planes, train stations, trains, buses and bus depots, bridges, government buildings, churches, synagogues, Christian and Jewish schools and other institutions, and so much else all over the Bilad al-kufr, or Land of Infidelity, or better, the Lands of the Infidels.
4) It won't demonstrate any awareness that Syria is not a state run by Muslims, but rather of, by, and for Alawites. The Alawites are a military caste who make up a mere 12% of the Syrian population. Their syncretism – including the cult of Mary – causes Sunni Muslims to regard them not as full-fledged Muslims but rather as people who are dangerously Infidel. The one thing that terrifies the Alawites is fear of the local Muslims, the "real Muslims." To avoid their murderous enmity, which his father dealt with at Hama, Bashir al-Assad has decided to share wealth, and even some power, with Sunnis, and some Alawis have even intermarried with Sunnis. On the other hand, the Syrians have also obtained a fatwa from Shi'a Iran, declaring these Mary-worshippers to be true Muslims, and they have served as a willing conduit both for aid from Sunnis (and volunteers) to fellow Sunnis in Iraq, and for aid from Iranian Shi'a to the Shi'a Hizballah in Iran. Finally, the most recent development is the astonishing and apparently Syrian-government-permitted effort to allow Iranian and other Shi'a missionaries to convert not non-Muslims, but Sunni Muslims in Syria.
None of this will be in the Baker Commission Report, because none of it is grasped correctly at the upper levels of the government. And no one has realized that Bashir al-Assad can be replaced, or can be threatened with being replaced, by Alawite generals unwilling to go along with his dangerous game of placating both Sunnis and Shi'a -- which may in the end destroy forever not merely the Alawite rule, but endanger the lives of all those living in the Alawite neighborhoods and Alawite villages.
5) It won't demonstrate any understanding of the way in which the seemingly innocuous notion of "agreeing to talk" with Iran actually improves the domestic standing of Iran at home and abroad. Even the malevolent Al-Saud, who are trying (and failing) to make their own deals with the Islamic Republic of Iran, understand why in the context of the Middle East such talks would not be taken as demonstrating American sweet reason, but rather as a sign of American pliancy and appeasement. They will be taken as such in Iran and in the Muslim Arab countries.
6) It won't demonstrate an understanding that not Iraq, and not even the Middle East, but rather Western Europe, is now the main battleground of the Jihad. It will not recognize that unless the Infidel public is properly instructed, even minimally, in the tenets of the belief-system of Islam, then it will continue to pursue policies that are suicidal -- for them and for NATO, and for the very existence of the heart of the West and its impossible-but-lovable civilization. That civilization continues to exist despite the radix-malorum-cupiditas-est environment of the E.U., that "big market," and the notion, no longer confined to Marxists but now to be found among all the children of privilege (including the current President and of course devout readers of The Wall Street Journal's editorial page), that "poverty" is the problem in the Islamic countries and among Islamic peoples -- "poverty" and "lack of freedom," and could not possibly actually be located in the ideology of Islam itself.
7) It won't demonstrate an understanding that it would be folly to continue to refuse to exploit the natural fissures -- sectarian and ethnic -- that Iraq presents. Those fissures existed virtually since the first century of Islam. They were not caused and could not conceivably have been caused, by the Americans. The only thing that the Americans did is remove the despot who kept the lid, by mass murder, on the Kurds and on the Shi'a.
8) It will say nothing about the need to put a large tax on gasoline, and to do so right now as the world price of gasoline is falling, even as OPEC tries to bolster it by cutting production. Furthermore, the government should institute taxes on other uses of oil, and to promise to steadily raise those taxes, and to put the revenues thus obtained directly into a fund that will be used to encourage the development of non-oil sources of energy -- nuclear, solar, wind, and coal gasification projects -- and to encourage conservation through subsidies for mass transit. All of this is in order to put unceasing and constantly increasing pressure on demand for OPEC oil and hence on its prices. The government would do this if those who ran it understood the full menace of the worldwide and essentially endless Jihad. (When Tony Blair says it “will take a generation” to bring things under control, he demonstrates his own lack of comprehension: the Jihad will last as long as Islam, and constraining it will take many decades of sustained and systematic effort, by all the Infidel countries working together.)
The price of gasoline and of oil should rise steadily, so that investors in other kinds of energy never have to worry about a price collapse. This can be done by imposing taxes on ourselves, rather than allowing all the money to go to OPEC. A good deal of what OPEC has managed to charge over the past one-third century, when it took in ten trillion dollars, might have been saved had anyone in the American government understood the oil market, or not been among those able to profit so handsomely from the business contracts and other inducements offered by the Saudis and other Arabs.
9) It won’t demonstrate an understanding of the origins of the Sunni-Shi’a rift now exposed, but hardly created by, the situation in Iraq. Nor will it demonstrate a knowledge of Sunni-Shi’a tensions in Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Yemen, and Lebanon, where Shi’a communities are treated with contempt and suspicion by many (not all) Sunnis, and are likely to be thrown into a state of agitation by the transfer of power to the Shi’a from the Sunnis in Iraq and the subsequent attempts by the Sunnis to regain power (and money) by force. Those attempts are likely in the end to be repelled, but not before a battle at least as long as the Iran-Iraq War breaks out, and has obvious consequences far outside the immediate theatre. Nor will the Baker Commission hint that this might, for Infidels, be a Good Thing, and at the very least serve as a Demonstration Project for Infidels in Europe, who need to view the spectacle of internecine warfare within the Camp of Islam, and to relate it to the attitudes and atmospherics of Islam – the violence, the aggression, the view of the world as one not of parties coming to compromise, but of the victor and the vanquished as the only two conceivable categories worth considering.
10) It won’t demonstrate an understanding of how it is possible to create and support an independent Kurdistan, by guaranteeing to Turkey that there will be no Kurdish claim on present Turkish territory, whatever claims are made on the Kurdish-populated parts of Syria and Iran. This should be done after having extracted a promise from the Kurds – a promise they will have to keep in order to retain the support of the American government that is essential for Kurdistan’s future. It won’t demonstrate that it understands that one of the most vulnerable points in Islam, one that needs to be exploited, is the use of Islam as a vehicle of Arab imperialism, political, cultural, and linguistic – which is exactly what Islam started out as, a belief-system concocted of pre-Islamic Arab pagan lore with bits and pieces of misremembered Judaism and Christianity thrown in. It was useful for persuading peoples conquered that the conquest was justified, and for helping to promote further conquest by Muslims inflamed with the desire to conduct their lives in fulfilling the duty of Jihad, jihad fi sabil allah.
It won’t demonstrate that it understands that 80% of the world’s Muslims are non-Arabs, and more of them can, through the spectacle of Kurds finally throwing off the rule by Arabs, learn to see Islam as that vehicle for the Arab national religion. This notion will reverberate among the Berbers of North Africa, especially in Morocco and Algeria, and also among the Berbers in the immigrant population in France, who may be partly split off from the Arabs and find the appeal of Islam dimmed the more it is seen as a product of, and instrument used by, the o’erweening Arabs. And the same is true for Muslims in East Asia, not all of whom would find themselves on the side of the Arabs in and out of Iraq trying to crush the Kurdish attempts at independence.
In Iran, the anxiety over an independent Kurdistan would be great. Not only would such a state appeal to Kurds inside Iran, and threaten the hold of the Islamic Republic of Iran on that part of the country, but a successful effort by the Kurds to create an independent Kurdistan in Iraq would be seen by Arabs in Khuzistan, and Baluchis, and Azeris (who with the Kurds constitute half of the population of the Islamic Republic of Iran) as a chance to rise up. And if the Islamic Republic is preoccupied with putting down internal uprisings, it is going to be less able to proceed untroubled with its nuclear project, or to be quite so unhindered in its attempts to defend that project from conceivable Western attack.
There are ten things that won’t be part of the Baker Commission Report.
It would be easy to discuss the report once its contents are known. But I know nothing about it. I thought it would be better, therefore, in advance of its release, or even in advance of the famous meeting between Baker’s Commission and Bush, to discuss merely ten of the important things that that Report Will Not Demonstrate, or rather, will demonstrate about the failings of the Commission’s members. They are, after all, Yesterday’s men. They are the very people who presided over the making of policy as OPEC battened and fattened, unconstrained by the slightest intelligent effort by any American government to construct an energy policy designed to limit the revenues of OPEC. Yet OPEC money funds mosques, madrasas, and other instruments of the worldwide Jihad, unhindered by any intelligent energy policy. These men apparently still believe that they are under no obligation to study Islam, as long as they can keep prating about the “need for stability” or about such trivial matters as “finding a solution to the (unsolvable) Israeli-Palestinian” question.
The public, or much of it, whether it is always in a position to speak out or not, is far ahead of these Wise Old Men who showed, in office, just how ignorant and unwise most of them were.
Bush tried messianism, the construction of a Light Unto the Muslim Nations that was based on a refusal to study Islam, and an inability to understand Iraq – but everything that has happened was perfectly predictable. The proof is that it all was predicted, here at Jihad Watch, and one can search in the Archives, and find it all, signed and dated.
The Baker Commission will be valuable only if it persuades the obstinate Bush to get out, as he should and must, of Iraq. Let Iraq be Iraq. Let coreligionists of Sunni Arabs and Shi’a Arabs send volunteers, and money (the more the better) and war materiel (the more expensive the better) into Iraq. And let the war within Iraq cause the Shi’a in eastern Saudi Arabia to become restive, and then to be put down by the Al-Saud. Hope also that Hizballah sends many eager volunteers right through Shi’a-wooing Syria (to the great relief of Christians, Druse, and Sunni Muslims in Lebanon) to help the Shi’a in Iraq.
Pocket the excuse the Baker Commission offers. Ignore all the rest. And hope that among the officers and men who served or are still serving in Iraq, and who were never properly informed about those sectarian and ethnic conflicts, who were never properly informed about Islam or about the various instruments of Jihad, there are those who will either remain and rise high in the army, or enter civilian life and replace the examples of Yesterday’s Men – such as the inimitable James Baker.