Among the many shortcomings in the widely panned Iraq Study Group (ISG) report is its blame-Israel-first mentality. If only the Jewish state would surrender more land to the Palestinians and hand Syria the now-occupied Golan Heights, grateful Iraqis would burst into song, defuse their Improvised Explosive Devices, and build a safe, free, and prosperous republic. The fact that so many of them are doing the opposite is — what else? — Israel’s fault.
"Iraq cannot be addressed effectively in isolation from other major regional issues, interests, and unresolved conflicts," the ISG report declares. America cannot "achieve its goals in the Middle East unless the United States deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict."
So, how is Israel responsible for Iraq’s woes? Aren’t the connections obvious?
Abdul, a Sunni, is disappointed with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Ohlmert’s latest policy on Jewish settlements on the West Bank. So, he dons a bomb vest and blows himself up on a Shiite-filled bus in Baghdad. Then, several Shiites, enraged over what they consider Israel’s lack of full-funding for Palestinian schools, visit a Hurriya mosque and use dynamite to dismember praying Sunnis. Hours later, Sunni members of al Qaeda in Iraq, steamed that Israel still has not handed Jerusalem to Hamas, drive to Sadr City and explode their sedan beside Shiite shoppers.
Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani dismisses this flim-flam. Militant Islam kills Iraqis, as it does Americans, independent of Israeli circumstances.
"Israel and Palestine is an important issue," Giuliani recently told radio host Dennis Prager. "But the reality here is that the Islamo-fundamentalist terrorists are at war with our way of life, with our modern world, with rights for women, religious freedom, societies that have religious freedom. And all of that would still exist, no matter what happens in Israel and Palestine."
The ISG urges that America hold a regional summit with Iraq’s Arab neighbors — but not Israel.
"As (ISG co-chairman Jim) Baker sees this, the conference would provide a unique opportunity for the United States to strike a deal without Jewish pressure," an official said in the Washington Times’ Insight.com on Dec. 5. Oh, that maddening Jewish pressure! Or, as former New York Mayor Ed Koch reported that then-Secretary of State Baker said in 1992: "F*** the Jews; they didn’t vote for us anyway." (Baker denies making the remark.)
The ISG also suggests that America negotiate over Iraq with Syria and Iran. Syria is a bellicose, terror-sponsoring dictatorship. So is Iran, an almost cinematically wicked menace.
Perhaps the ISG forgot that oil-choked Iran is busy enriching uranium for its "nuclear power plants." Actually, as everyone else remembers, Iran is in hot pursuit of atomic weapons. The U.N. Security Council has condemned Iran’s nuclear misconduct, while America seeks to penalize it for producing bomb-grade uranium. So, the ISG proposes, the U.S. should talk with Iran, even while endeavoring to slap it with sanctions.
Iran would make quite a negotiating partner. It is suspected of smuggling explosives and homicide bombers into Iraq to kill U.S. and Coalition GIs. Furthermore, some former U.S. diplomats held hostage in America’s Tehran Embassy between 1979 and 1981 suspect Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was among their tormentors. He doubtlessly is devoted to Israel’s destruction.
"Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist," Ahmadinejad said Tuesday, "so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out."
Ahmadinejad addressed a two-day Holocaust-denial conference. Speakers claimed that Adolf Hitler never actually built gas chambers. Conferees trivialized Nazi Germany’s murder of some 11 million people, including 6 million Jews, as — what else? — an elaborate Jewish fabrication.
One American delegate at Ahmadinejad’s Tehran confab summarized this belief.
"The Holocaust is like a new religion," former Ku Klux Klan imperial wizard David Duke told Fox News. "That’s because the Holocaust is used as a weapon against the Palestinians as a way of blinding the world to the holocaust that is being committed against the Palestinian people."
Ahmadinejad warmly greeted the one-time Klan leader. They shared handshakes and backslaps. This is the same Iranian president with whom the ISG recommends America do business.
You can decide if this makes sense. The ISG report is available at your local bookstore. Look for it in the fantasy section.
(New York commentator Deroy Murdock is a columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. E-mail him at deroy.murdock(at)gmail.com. )