IF YOU CARED
night, I watched Brit Hume
interview James Baker and Lee Hamilton about the findings of the Iraq
study group. Hume rapidly closed in on the weirdest of the reported
recommendations, that the situation calls for negotiation with Iran and
Syria. Baker immediately conceded that Iran probably wouldn't respond
favorably to U.S. overtures, although he insisted that Iran doesn't
want chaos in Iraq -- even though chaos in Iraq is something they have
been working tirelessly to produce. Huh? Then he proceeded to his trump
card, presumably the idea that's generating so much excitement among
Democrats and mass media types: the opportunity to "flip" Syria via
clever diplomacy. He seems to think that if we offer Syria the Golan
Heights, they'll be willing to stop assassinating Lebanese government
officials, disband Hizbollah, and become an active partner in
stabilizing a free and independent Iraq, not to mention help broker a
permanent peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Brit lifted an eyebrow, a sure sign that he is flabbergasted and
appalled by the preposterous nonsense he is hearing. After the
interview footage had
run, he reported from his anchor desk that as he was departing the
interview, Baker lifted a finger and repeated, "Flip Syria. Flip Syria.
That's the key."
I wasn't going to comment on this. There didn't seem to be much to say
about it besides, "uh, okay. Whatever." Even the members of Brit's
panel just laughed nervously and suggested that perhaps Baker should be
designated the "flipper-in-chief" and sent off to Syria to perform this
So I had miracles on my mind when I discovered this news story
making the rounds of the Internet:
His sister in danger,
4-year-old plays hero
DURHAM - The robber was holding a gun to 5-year-old Mary Long's head
when a 3-foot-tall Mighty Morphin Power Ranger leapt into the room.
"Get away from my family," 4-year-old Stevie Long shouted, punctuating
his screams with swipes of his plastic sword and hearty "yah, yahs."
The robber and his accomplice, who was waiting outside the apartment
Friday night, fled with credit cards, jewelry, cash and other items
that Stevie's mother, Jennifer Long, dumped from her purse.
"I scared the bad guys away," Stevie said Tuesday evening at the
apartment at 901 Chalk Level Road in north Durham.
Two men had approached Jennifer Long's
boyfriend and his son Friday night as they stood outside the apartments
she helps manage, according to a police report. The strangers asked for
pot, and then a cigarette, and as the son went to get one, both men
pulled guns, police said.
One stayed with the boyfriend as the other forced the son back into the
apartment, police said. Inside were Jennifer Long, a cousin, Stevie,
Mary and two other children, police said.
They were forced on the floor. The robber pointed the gun at Mary and a
1-year-old girl named Sierra, said Stevie's uncle, Bernie Evans, 33,
who lives above the Longs.
"During the robbery, a ... boy snuck into his bedroom, dressed himself
in a Power Ranger costume and armed himself with a plastic sword,"
police said. "The child then exited his room and approached the armed
suspect, in an attempt to protect his family."
Relatives said the robber abandoned plans to take Stevie's mother to an
ATM to withdraw cash when he saw Stevie.
"It tripped him out, and that's when they moved on," said Evans, who
did not witness the incident....
Evans said family members are struggling to help their children
understand their ordeal. A counselor said Stevie needs to improve his
distinction between fantasy and reality, said Heather Evans, Stevie's
"He fully believed he morphed," she said.
I was really struck by the phrase "distinction between fantasy and
reality." In this case, it's apparently the adults who are having more
trouble with the concept than little Stevie. This time, fantasy became
reality: his unlikely gambit did secure its objective, after all. The
gangsters left and no one got hurt.
God works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform. Perhaps there was
a kind of divine logic at work in assembling a study group averaging
about 80 years of age. Forget the fact that most of them have little or
experience in foreign policy. Forget the fact that most of them have
been out of government longer than the lifespans of our troopers in
Forget the fact that committees notoriously produce decisions and
recommendations hopelessly mangled by compromise and
lowest-common-denominator groupthink. Instead, consider the possibility
that octogenarians live on the cusp of renascent childhood, a vantage
point from which some actually recover the confident innocence of
childhood. Are we the potential beneficiaries of such a morphing
The Iraq Study Group
I think we should give it a chance. However insanely delusional they
may seem to the rest of us, Baker and Hamilton may be onto something.
Let's send them to Syria the way fortune sent Stevie into the living
room waving his plastic sword. Let's all believe loudly and childishly
in the inevitability of a miracle. Perhaps the Syrians will be taken so
off-guard that Assad will suddenly forget he's a bigoted murderous tool
of the Iranian Nazis and stand up for truth, justice, and the American
Way. Stranger things have happened. Well, actually, they haven't, but
overlook that. This is no time for half measures. The only alternative
is to win the war we set out to win years ago. Right now, it's far less
likely the American people have the will to do that than that they have
the capacity to believe in magical salvation by the Mighty Morphin
As a footnote, I'll also point out that there's an opportunity here to
defray some of the huge expenses the war has run up over the years.
Let's capitalize on the celebrity of the Baker-Hamilton commission and
start selling some action figures.
Hamilton and James Baker Action Figures (appropriate, ages 4 - 8)
At $20 to $30 a pop in the Christmas season, revenues could pile up
Think about it. But not too hard. You might sprain something.
For the skeptics among
you, here's a video
of Baker and Hamilton discussing their recommendations with Brit Hume. OOPS! That wasn't the right file. I think it's this one
to Wuzzadem the Great