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Saturday, September 23, 2023

The Arab world reacts over the Iraq Study Group bleak assessment

CSMS Magazine Staff WritersPeople in the Middle East have summarized the Iraqi commission report as proof of Washington’s failure in the region. “This report is a recognition of the limitation of American power,” said Abdel Moneim Said, head of Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic studies in Cairo. “In the short term, America will highly suffer the loss of its reputation and credibility in the region.”In CSMS Magazine, we repeatedly say that there is no military solution in Iraq—only a negotiated one. The bipartisan study, written under the leadership of former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III and former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, paints a dire picture of the situation in Iraq more than three years after the war started.“I see no way out, unless we invite some countries [Syria and Iran] to the negotiating table,” admitted Leon Panetta, former member of the Clinton Administration who is also a member of the commission. The report suggests the United States should find ways to pull back most of its combat forces by early 2008 and focus U.S. troops on training and supporting Iraqi units. The U.S. also should begin a “diplomatic offensive” by the end of the month and engage adversaries Iran and Syria in an effort to quell sectarian violence and shore up the fragile Iraqi government, the report said.Mustafa Bakri, an outspoken critic of the U.S. and editor of the Egyptian tabloid Al-Osboa, told a state-run television show that the report indicated “the end of America.”Bakri, who supports Syrian President Bashar Assad and the former regime of Saddam Hussein, urged Arab countries to “capture the moment as America now is in its weakest period.”The Iraq Study Group’s report was the top headline in many Arab newspapers on Thursday, including the Egyptian opposition daily Al-Wafd, which declared: “Bush confesses defeat in Iraq.”The paper’s editor-in-chief, Anwar el-Hawari, predicted that at the very least, the Middle East will not hear from Bush for the coming 24 months.”Practically, this means that this is the real end of Bush rule, his policies and the neo-conservative groups. This also means that the coming two years left in his term will be a period of a political vacuum,” he wrote.Joseph Samaha, editor-in-chief of Lebanese opposition daily Al-Akhbar, said that, even before the study group’s report found shortcomings in the Bush administration’s Iraq policy, Arabs had already concluded that Iraq had turned into a “holocaust for American claims.”In Jordan, Al Arab Al Yawm editor-in-chief Taher al-Adwan suggested that Iran could “fill the vacuum” in neighboring Iraq if Arab countries don’t step up and counter U.S. failures.”Will the noise of this bullet (the report) reach the Arab capitals, especially the neighboring countries … to push them to formalize a unified Arab position toward Iraq and fill the vacuum by Iraqi national forces who are against the occupation and the Iranian influence,” he wrote.Only time will tell. In the meantime, Henry Lu’s article that confirms since the early stage of the war “Iraq will mark the end of Super power” still stands. Now, the need to call for a complete withdrawal is extremely important. WE WANT OUR YOUNG SOLDIERS HOME!

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