The US bipartisan Iraq Study Group, co-chaired by Democrat Lee Hamilton and Republican James Baker, had advised the president to ‘engage’ with Iran and Syria, meaning that diplomatic talks are far superior than military action and certainly kill less US soldiers.
James Baker is President Bush’s ‘uncle James’, the former US Secretary of State under Bush Senior and the man who represented Bush Junior in his dodgy 2000 US presidential election in Florida.
Virtually every sensible politician in the US and Europe has urged the President to talk with Iran, but Bush Junior has steadfastly refused.
Now, three former US generals have added their voices to the camp for talks with Iran, and advised against military adventures against the Persians.
They are army lieutenant general Robert Gard, a former military assistant to US defence secretary, Robert McNamara, US Marine Corps general Joseph Hoar, a former commander-in-chief of US Central Command and Navy vice-admiral Jack Shanahan, a former director of the Centre for Defence Information.
Bet you President Bush will ignore them as he had the others, because his administration has recently increased the frequency and vehemence of its verbal attacks on Iran. Many in the US are worried that the gungho moronic president could be preparing for a military strike against Iran. Certain members of his advisors would undoubtedly be egging him on.
To lend substance to this fear of Bush widening the conflict in Gulf, the US has despatched a second aircraft carrier to the Gulf. Many believe it may be a warning to Iran, but it could well be preparatory positioning for pre-emptive strikes against Iranian nuclear power plants, supply routes and other high value targets.
The three retired generals said: "There is time available to talk, we must ensure that we use it. The current crisis must be resolved through diplomacy."
“Attacking Iran would have disastrous consequences for security in the region, coalition forces in Iraq and would further exacerbate regional and global tensions.”
The unfortunate reality is that Bush has sold his soul to the war-with-Iran camp. I’ll give you one guess as to who is paranoid about wanting Iran bombed, attacked and crippled (as Iraq was), even if that kills thousands of US soldiers and increases the danger to US citizens.
The Christian Science Monitor reported that Zbulun Orlev of Israel's right-wing National Religious Party condemned the Iraq Study Group report as ‘unfriendly’ to Israel, particularly in its advocacy for engaging Iran, and then most brazenly, lambasting the Study Group for having the nerve to call for a ‘land for peace’ approach to the Israeli encroachment into Palestinian territories.
Orlev sure as hell didn’t like the idea of anyone, least of all the US, considering land for the Palestinians (that were seized/stolen by the Israelis in the first place).
He condemned particularly James Baker, who as US Secretary of State, had vigorously developed policies on a peace deal with the Palestinians.
Orlov said: "We thought after six years of Bush [the junior one], the policies which Baker represents had died."
Incidentally, as an aside, the senior President Bush, with a popularity rating of around 90% after the 1st Gulf War, strangely lost his second term re-election. Why?
... because in pushing for a peace settlement with the Palestinians, Bush Senior daringly prohibited Israel to build any settlement on the West Bank on pain of being denied US aid. That lost him the support of pro-Israeli voters including the powerful Christian Right.
Israeli PM Ehud Olmert was more confident. He declared the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, which called for direct talks between Israel and its neighbours, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinians and the resolution of the Israeli-Arab conflict, does not necessarily reflect Bush administration policy.
He's right on two counts - (1) Bush takes his advice from his Zionist advisors and the Israeli lobby - and (2) Israel has no interest in any peace deal with the Palestinians, and President Bush automatically supports whatever Israel wants.
Olmert or any Israeli PM doesn't want any peace deal that brings recognition and establishment of a Palestinian State. That has been the feet-dragging tactic of Israel for donkey years. Establishment of a sovereign Palestine threatens the legitimacy of an Israeli nation built on Palestinian land.
So long as Bush and his fundamentalist Christian beliefs shackled him to a pro-Hebraic policy* in the Middle-East , more US soldiers will die among the sands of the Middle East.
* even at this stage, Bush still agrees to supply Israel with more cluster bombs after Shimon Peres, deputy PM of Israeli had admitted the sowing of 1 million bomblets in southern Lebanon was a humongous mistake.
Since the end of the war, those bomblets have killed more than 24 Lebanese civilians and injured at least 100 others. Only 19,000 of the 1 million bombs have been recovered.
The Israeli inhumane act must be considered one of the world's modern day war crimes. Tun Dr Mahathir, please take note for your war crimes tribunal!