Perspectives on a Continuing Crisis

With the public debut of the report from the Iraq Study Group and the ushering in of James Baker, more questions than answers are fomenting in the continuing public debate over the best way to alleviate the tragedy in Iraq. Here are a few of those perspectives:

“No way out of the tragedy is feasible without looking at the occupation itself and identifying it for what it is: the source of and magnet for most of the violence and antagonistic divisions. Moreover, if the US-led occupation forces are not fully and swiftly withdrawn from Iraq, then the US ‘exit strategy’ will mushroom into new, devastating wars against Lebanon, Syria and Iran.”
Read more from Sami Ramadani at opendemocracy.net

“It’s hard to imagine a more sweeping rebuke to the president’s disastrously misguided Middle East policy. The report breathes not one word about ‘victory’ in Iraq. Ever the master of understatement, Baker said that the idea of staying the course in Iraq ‘is no longer viable.'”
Read more from Robert Drefuss at TomPaine.com

“The report calls for the United States to assist in privatizing Iraq’s national oil industry, opening Iraq to private foreign oil and energy companies, providing direct technical assistance for the ‘drafting’ of a new national oil law for Iraq, and assuring that all of Iraq’s oil revenues accrue to the central government.”
Read more from Antonia Juhasz at AlterNet

“All of this should ensure that, well into 2008, at least 70,000 American military personnel will still be in Iraq, after which, in the midst of a presidential election season, will actual withdrawal finally appear on some horizon? In other words, the Baker Commission plan guarantees us at least another 3-5 years in Iraq.”
Read more from Tom Engelhardt at Tomdispatch.com
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