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#465338 --- 10/18/06 05:35 PM Baker: Iraq a Helluva Mess
Gud4u Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/18/04
Posts: 3466
Baker: Iraq a Helluva Mess
Agence France-Presse

Wednesday 18 October 2006

Former US secretary of state James Baker was visibly shocked when he last visited Iraq, and said the country was in a "helluva mess", the BBC reported today.

Mr Baker is leading a review of the situation in Iraq by a bipartisan US committee of experts, and is expected to recommend a change in US strategy for rebuilding Iraq.

Citing a unnamed close friend and ally of Mr Baker's, himself a top politician, the BBC reported that Mr Baker said "there simply weren't any easy solutions".

Mr Baker was secretary of state to US President George W. Bush's father, president George Bush.

Citing unnamed members of Mr Baker's committee, The Los Angeles Times yesterday said that two options under consideration would represent reversals of US policy - withdrawing American troops in phases, and bringing neighbouring Iran and Syria into a joint effort to stop the fighting.

The BBC also reported that a third possibility was under consideration - to concentrate on getting stability in Iraq, and stop aiming to establish a democracy there.

The 10-member commission has agreed that change must be made, the Times report said.

"It's not going to be 'stay the course,'" the paper quoted one participant as saying. "The bottom line is, (current policy) isn't working. There's got to be another way."

#465339 --- 10/18/06 06:23 PM "the civil war is already well along."
Retired Soldier Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 12/23/05
Posts: 12945
Loc: Rochester, NY
Negative as the quote is, remember that Baker is a Bush family friend and is obviously trying to state the case as positively as possible. This quote is less optimistic:

a member of a high-powered government advisory body that is developing options to prevent Iraq's chaotic collapse warns that the United States could have just weeks, not months, to avoid an all-out civil war.

"There's a sense among many people now that things in Iraq are slipping fast and there isn't a lot of time to reverse them," said Larry Diamond, one of a panel of experts advising the Iraq Study Group, which is preparing a range of policy alternatives for President Bush.

"The civil war is already well along. We have no way of knowing if it's too late until we try a radically different course," said Diamond, an expert on building democracies who is at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and is a former adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.
The co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group, former Secretary of State James Baker, has already made headlines by saying that "stay the course" is no longer a viable strategy and that some kind of change will be required.