Despite a recent media report touting the experience and skills James Baker III offers as co-chair of the Iraq Study Group, a look at his record and an anti-Semitic British official with whom he identifies suggest the former secretary of state’s involvement in U.S. foreign policy could spell disaster for the state of Israel.
The Dec. 3 Houston Chronicle carried a front-page article extolling Baker for his public service to America and skill as a tough negotiator. The article continued on page 10, where it filled the entire page. The primary point of the article was to express hope that Baker, by drawing on his considerable experience and skills, could find a solution to America’s problems in Iraq as co-chair of the ISG.
The 10-member Iraq Study Group this week presented its recommendations to President Bush for American policy and strategy regarding our war in Iraq. The panel is co-chaired by former 9-11 commission member Lee Hamilton. The group consists of five Democrats and five Republicans, including former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner and former CIA Director Robert Gates. Gates resigned his commission recently when he was nominated to replace Donald Rumsfeld as secretary of defense.
The Chronicle article mentioned that, while attending Princeton University, Baker wrote a senior thesis about the clash in the 1930s between two powerful members of Great Britain’s Parliament – Aneurin Bevan, an idealist, and Ernest Bevin, a realist. The article mentioned that Baker argued in favor of the pragmatist Bevin.
In his new book, “Work Hard, Study and Keep out of Politics,” Baker comments, “Those who know me will not be surprised that I favored the approach of the realist.”
For those who may not recognize the name, Ernest Bevin was the British foreign minister in the British Labor Party led by Clement Attlee. At this time, Britain was at the height of its power as one of the greatest empires in history. The empire spanned nearly a third of the world’s land. Truly “the sun never set on the Union Jack.”
Previous British government administrations were devout Christian Zionists. They believed the Almighty had allowed Britain such great power for the purpose of facilitating the establishment of a Jewish homeland in fulfillment of the ancient Jewish prayer, “Next year in Jerusalem.” Prime Minister Lloyd George, Foreign Secretary James Balfour, Gen. Edmund Allenby and others believed that the biblical statements concerning the Jewish homeland were the essential factor in any decisions regarding the Jewish people and Palestine.
Unfortunately, the Labor Party did not share these views. They counted the number of Arabs and Arab oil and reversed the policies of the previous administration. They were not only against the Jewish people having their own country, they did everything they could to negate the Balfour Declaration and actively assisted the Arabs in their efforts to destroy the Jews of pre-Israel Palestine.
As the foreign minister at this time, Ernest Bevin was the leading proponent of the new British pro-Arab, anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist policies. He adamantly opposed the desperate efforts of European Jewish Holocaust survivors to immigrate to Palestine. He insisted that they be denied entrance to Palestine and be returned to their Displaced Persons camps in Europe. His policy directly resulted in the tragedy of the ship Exodus being turned away and the further suffering of the refugee passengers.
On Jan. 15, 1948, the day the British signed a treaty with Iraq, Bevin reached a secret agreement with the Iraqi leaders whereby the British agreed to speed up the supply of weapons and ammunition for 50,000 “Palestinian policemen.” Of course, these “policemen” were Palestinian Arab fighters the British armed to defeat the “Zionist entity” before it could become a reality. He also agreed that Iraqi forces would enter every area evacuated by British troops in Palestine so that a Jewish state would not be formed. He encouraged Transjordan to invade Palestine, which it would do under the command of British officers.
Bevin was influenced by a British politician named Harold Beely, an Arabized, anti-Semite who opposed the Balfour Declaration.
While I am sure Mr. Bevin believed he was acting in the best interest of Britain, his policies represented one of the greatest betrayals by a government in modern history. Furthermore, they were a primary cause for the continuing conflict in the Middle East that has troubled America ever since.
When Britain turned its back on the Jews, the Almighty turned His back on Britain. While Israel became a state, Britain lost its empire. It has lost its Judeo-Christian culture. It is dying spiritually. Its civilization and way of life is rapidly being replaced by Islam. How long will it be before the Crescent Moon flies alongside the Union Jack at Buckingham Palace?
In the article cited, Baker says he tries to pray every day. That’s encouraging. May he find divine wisdom for America to facilitate freedom and democracy in Iraq so that our brave men and women serving there can return home safely.
Along with his many accomplishments and positions in government, Baker is the senior counsel for the Carlyle Group, a major international financial organization with extensive interests in the Middle East, including the Saudi royal family and the bin Ladens. His law firm, Baker Botts, is representing the Saudi government in the 9-11 victims lawsuit against Saudi Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz.
I have the greatest respect for Mr. Baker’s past service to our country. Hopefully, he can avoid any conflict of national, business and personal interest as co-chair of the Iraq Study Group. But I cannot help but notice the parallels between the current policies of the U.S. State Department, Baker’s well-known anti-Semitic, anti-Israel pro-Arab policies and those of Mr. Bevin. For the sake of our great nation, may America and James Baker not follow in the footsteps of Britain.