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December 7, 2006
Giuliani, McCain Reject Israel-Iraq Linkage

At least two presidential aspiranta have publicly opposed the Iraq Study Group and its linkage of the situation in Iraq with the Palestinian conflict. Rudy Giuliani called some of the ISG's recommendations "useful", but told Dennis Prager that leaving Iraq would be a "terrible mistake", while John McCain scotched the notion of a regional conference dominated by two terror-supporting states:

"The idea of leaving Iraq, I think, is a terrible mistake," the former mayor said. The group's report, however, stresses that America should not make an "open-ended" commitment of troops and links the presence of troops to milestones met by the Iraqi government.

Mr. Giuliani also rejected the panel's recommendation that America tie the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict to stabilizing Iraq. When asked about this linkage on Mr. Prager's radio show, Mr. Giuliani said, "Israel and Palestine is an important issue. Sometimes it's used as an excuse to deal with underlying issues. 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 stark difference between the position of Mr. Giuliani, who left the Iraq Study Group this summer, and that of the rest of the group — which is headed by a former secretary of state, James Baker, and a former congressman, Lee Hamilton — indicates that the greater political world is less agreed on the group's 79 recommendations than are the group's five Republicans and five Democrats.

John McCain offered a less-certain assessment of the Iraq-Israel link, calling it "tenuous at best". He also objected to the timeline offered by the Iraq Study Group. The 2008 deadline only encourages Iraqis to move towards the militias that will endure after an American withdrawal rather than to remain firm and fight the sectarian forces in order to establish authority under their representative government. McCain also rejected the notion of a regional conference with Iran and Syria, calling the divergence of interests between those countries and the US "unlikely to change under the current regimes".

Giuliani also rejected James Baker's efforts to get the panel's recommendations adoped in toto, a peculiar demand that arises these days from such blue-ribbon committees. The 9/11 Commission made a big public-relations effort for the same, arguing that their report was not a smorgasbord. Baker made the same argument yesterday, insisting that the White House would not get any other set of policies with bipartisan support, a bold statement that presumes the ISG has discovered the only revealed truth on Iraq. Giuliani said that some would probably get adopted, and some would be rejected. Considering the list of 70+ recommendations, that appears pretty obvious to everyone, excepting James Baker.

Both men have underscored the issue of the war -- that we will not negotiate with terrorist-supporting states. Somehow Baker and his ISG forgot that we're not just fighting a war in Iraq, and that Israel is not just a problem to be solved. We are fighting the spread of radical Islamist terrorism, and the two major production centers for that very problem are Teheran and Damascus. Holding a regional conference with them to determine anything but their surrender in that war only encourages the spread of the terrorism that we seek to end.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 7, 2006 5:59 AM

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» Rudy Giuliani Watch: ISG Report - Giuliani Calls Idea of Quitting Iraq a TERRIBLE MISTAKE from FullosseousFlap's Dental Blog
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani (L), reacts as he is introduced by Circuit City Stores CEO Philip J. Schoonover (C), and chief marketing officer Peter Weedfald (R), at a news conference in a New York City firehouse, December 6, 2006. The consu... [Read More]

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» The Iraq Study Group Report from Sensible Mom
I haven't written about the ISG report earlier because, frankly, the report is silly. The contents have been leaked for two months so nothing in it is a surprise. It's just a waste of time and money. I agree with [Read More]

Tracked on December 7, 2006 11:45 AM

» The Iraq Study Group Report from Sensible Mom
I haven't written about the ISG report earlier because, frankly, the report is silly. The contents have been leaked for two months so nothing in it is a surprise. It's just a waste of time and money. I agree with [Read More]

Tracked on December 7, 2006 11:46 AM

» Giuliani, McCain Reject Israel-Iraq Linkage from Bill's Bites
Giuliani, McCain Reject Israel-Iraq LinkageEd Morrissey At least two presidential aspiranta have publicly opposed the Iraq Study Group and its linkage of the situation in Iraq with the Palestinian conflict. Rudy Giuliani called some of the ISG's recomm... [Read More]

Tracked on December 7, 2006 11:47 AM

» Rudy Giuliani Watch: ISG Report - Giuliani Calls Idea of Quitting Iraq a “TERRIBLE MISTAKE” from FullosseousFlap's Dental Blog
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani (L), reacts as he is introduced by Circuit City Stores CEO Philip J. Schoonover (C), and chief marketing officer Peter Weedfald (R), at a news conference in a New York City firehouse, December 6, 2006. The cons... [Read More]

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