I just can’t help myself with this topic, it’s such a juicy target for all kinds of vindictive fun making. Columnist Mark Styen, of the Sun-Times, casts his two cents worth (about the actual worth of the ISG’s findings) and makes some pretty damaging claims against the much reviled report, stating that:
“…….lest you think there are no minimum admission criteria to James Baker’s “Support Group,” relax, it’s a very restricted membership: Arabs, Persians, Chinese commies, French obstructionists, Russian assassination squads. But no Jews. Even though Israel is the only country to be required to make specific concessions — return the Golan Heights, etc. Indeed, insofar as this document has any novelty value, it’s in the Frankenstein-meets-the-Wolfman sense of a boffo convergence of hit franchises: a Vietnam bug-out, but with the Jews as the designated fall guys. Wow. That’s what Hollywood would call “high concept…….. More here.”
The ISG report makes many interesting references to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict as being the “linch-pin” to any stability in the ME region.
“The United States will not be able to achieve its goals in the Middle East unless the United States deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict.” And ” This commitment must include direct talks with, by, and between Israel, Lebanon, Palestinians (those who accept Israel’s right to exist),” [ISG Report 4. The Wider Regional Conflict pg.54]
I wonder how the solving of that conflict will keep Arabs from murdering other Arabs, whether in Iraq or in the Sudan? Another interesting observation is that Baker and Co. want Israel pressured to make a deal with Abbas in spite of the Hamas and its supporters, who do not want to recognize the Jewish state of Israel. Abbas’ Fattah has been reduced to a rump political party without a mandate of the people, from just whom would Fattah be negotiating a deal with Israel for? The First Terrorist People of Palestine have already spoken, and stand firmly behind the terrorist group Hamas and its own mandate, no recognizing of the state of Israel, no rejection of the use of terror, nor adhering to any previously signed agreements.
Steyn finishes up with following:
“If they’re lucky, this document will be tossed in the trash and these men and women will be the laughingstocks of posterity. But, if it’s not shredded and we embark down this path, then the Baker group will be emblematic of something far worse. The “Support Group” is a “peace conference,” and Baker wants Washington to sue for terms. No wonder Syria is already demanding concessions from America. Which is the superpower and which is the third-rate basket-case state? From the Middle Eastern and European press coverage of the Baker group, it’s kinda hard to tell.”