Americans will quit Iraq. Some day they will. And the fact was quite obvious even before a special Iraq Study Group headed by the former Secretary of State, veteran of the Republican democracy James A. Baker published its report. And it is clear to any reasonable person who is aware of the political situation in the world that the US policy in Iraq is a failure. Members of Baker’s commission are making attempts to persuade President Bush of the fact. And the American leader is lost in thoughts.
America is known as a country of "victorious democracy." In European countries, parliamentary elections may result in forming a new government that will slowly and non-radically change the foreign political line of its country. In the USA, an intermediate parliamentary election entails no administration replacement but, as the recent events prove, may make for changing the administration’s line.
The Baker Commission has come in handy to justify the changes and to save America’s face. The Commission was formed some time ago but became particularly active right before the election in the Congress. And now the Commission’s report may act as a good prelude to changing Washington’s official line in Iraq.
However, the world mass media and the public opinion are to some extent deluded as concerning activity of the Iraq Study Group. First of all, it is a mistake to think that the revolutionary report of the Commission opened Washington’s eyes on the situation in Iraq. And another mistake is to believe that American and other foreign troops will be immediately withdrawn from Iraq. The last statement is particularly far from being a reality. Experts headed by Baker just said WHAT would better be done in Iraq but they did not say a word about HOW that could be put into practice. And some recommendations given in the report sound even funny. For instance, to make the situation in Iraq better Israel must give the Golan Heights back to Syria. Or new Pentagon Chief Gates is recommended to create a favorable atmosphere in his department for officers and generals to be able to propose further political steps. A real military democracy, is not it?
The results of the Baker Commission’s activity are interesting first of all because they reveal changes in Washington’s views on the world politics and its role in it. It seems that Bush’s Administration has made up a decision to recommence a forgotten many-sided diplomatic approach in politics. At the same time, it is clear that no one will be made responsible for the mistakes that Baker’s Commission has found on the White House’s instructions. Especially that the key ideologist of the Iraqi campaign Donald Rumsfeld has already resigned.
It is highly likely that implementation of the recommendations given by the Iraq Study Group will not improve the situation in the Mideast country even if the US Administration grasps a kernel of good sense in the Baker Commission’s report. Let us assume that the USA will withdraw its troops from Iraq. But who will prevent a large-scale civil war in Iraq with participation of its neighbors? Last week, Saudi Arabia declared it would not send its troops to help its Sunni brothers in Iraq in case a civil war breaks out there.
One thing is for sure that the report of Baker’s Commission has demonstrated once again that diplomatic efforts are in most cases more effective than military force and one-sided actions. But to gain success diplomats should learn to listen and hear what the other side is saying. And we will soon see without the assistance of the Iraq Study Group if American representatives in the Middle East succeed with the task or not.
Translated by Maria Gousseva