Wednesday, December 06, 2006

"The Way Forward: A New Approach"?

The Iraq Study Group Says:
The Situation In Iraq Is Grave And Deteriorating . . . A Risk Of A ‘Slide Toward Chaos which Could Trigger The Collapse Of Iraq's Government And A Humanitarian Catastrophe. . . . The Global Standing Of The United States Could Be Diminished.


The wheels of the Bush-Cheney unilateral and unidimensional runaway train in the Middle East have come off. In 142 pages, this report reports bi-partisan certification that NeoConservative policies have been fundamentally flawed:
The United States cannot achieve its goals in the Middle East unless it deals with the Israeli — Arab conflict and regional instability. . . . Talks should include Israel, Lebanon and Palestinian leaders who recognize Israel's right to exist.
Does the ISG Report strike any sparks illuminating glimpses of truth?
Our report makes clear that the Iraqi government and people also must act to achieve a stable and hopeful future . . . . The most important questions about Iraq's future are now responsibility of Iraqis.
Yes. This is an understatement. Iraq is in free-fall; a free-for-all civil war worse than
Lebanon's in 1975-1989. The 'Ballotocracy' installed by Rumsfeld has no writ in Iraq or even in Baghdad; it does not extend beyond the Green Zone. At this point there is no secure land corridor between Baghdad and the Baghdad 'International' Airport. Maliki is a bureaucrat who has to be virtually handcuffed to his bodyguards (are they mercenaries or Peshmergers?) every time he ventures out in the open. Civil war is raging and it will rage for some time, regardless of American presence.

Another truth: practically all Iraqis agree on this:
Yet the United States must not make open-ended commitments to keep large numbers of troops deployed in Iraq.
The Iraqis are convinced that Bush's un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI) is ultimately designed to capture their oil. And that
the ulterior purpose our armed presence was to make their oil, our oil. And the tangible proof of this is the permanent Gibraltar-like fortress which we have been constructing since we landed. Bush and Cheney's policy has never contradicted this fear.

The ISG Report adrift in unreality. I think this is a symptom of the members of the Group struggling with the issue as to how much truth the American people can take at this moment in time without being shocked and awed by the true dimensions of this foreign policy disaster into which their own complacence - largely - has delivered them.

The ISG report says:
All options have not been exhausted. It is still possible to pursue different policies that could give Iraq an opportunity for a better future . . . . The primary mission of U.S. forces should evolve to one of supporting the Iraqi army . . . . . It's clear Iraqi government will need U.S. assistance for some time to come, especially in carrying out new security responsibilities.
All options are exhausted. The future of Iraq is now in the hands of the Iraqis. It cannot be resolved by the Iranians, Syrians, Americans, British, or the United Nations. Withdrawal must be placed on the table.

It is a prevarication on the part of the Group to say combat troops will be withdrawn and only troops supporting and training Iraqi troops will remain. There are no Iraqi troops. There are only Iraqis in uniform because, in the Iraqi economy, there are no jobs out of uniform that pay above subsistence. Furthermore, this charade is no change from the standing White House pretenses. This is the status quo: in order to have troops training Iraqis, you have to provide for their security. And, it is widely held that we don't have enough boots on the ground to do that now.

You want the truth? Here is the truth:
What we recommend demands a tremendous amount of political will and cooperation between the executive and legislative branches of the US government. . . . Success depends on the unity of the American people in a time of political polarisation. . . . Foreign policy is doomed to failure - as is any action in Iraq - if not supported by broad sustained consensus. The aim of report is to move our country towards such a consensus.
Bush and Cheney will not accept the findings of the Iraq Study Group. They will not change their position on the West Bank in Palestine. Because of that, they will not 'engage' with Syria about the Golan Heights or with Iran about nuclear weapons. Because of their rigidity there will be no consensus between the American people and the White House on Middle Eastern policy.

It serves no use to procrastinate and prevaricate any further by trying to cover up the gross incompetence of our government with the fig-leaf of a white paper 'Report' full of contradictions.

Following robust oversight by the next Congress, the President and Vice-President should be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors. Or they should resign.

24 Moderated Comments:

Blogger Recidivist said...

If the Prez has not been on the bottle, he should be reaching for it now...

12/06/2006 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger Malfrat said...

Bush and Cheney just got their report cards. The grade was F.

12/06/2006 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger LTE said...

They should drop the class.

12/06/2006 08:55:00 AM  
Anonymous R. Freeman said...

Bush's only option to get out of the Iraq hellhole is to go cap in hand to the devil. I refer to Boot's characterization of Iran and Syria. But the Iraq Study Group will state that the help of these nations is essential for our exit strategy. As Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said recently, "We are in dire need of Iran's help in establishing security and stability in Iraq." The neoconservative geniuses who believed invading Iraq would strengthen U.S. interests have accomplished the opposite. We'll end up giving military and political victories to our enemies, actually reducing our security. The U.S. may well be forced to accommodate Iran's nuclear program. Welcome to the new world order of the younger Bush. Now we know why the elder Bush left Saddam Hussein alone.

12/06/2006 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

vigilante said, "Bush and Cheney will not accept the findings of the Iraq Study Group. They will not change..... "

I believe you will find you are wrong. I believe Bush is already embracing and encouraging change. Policies are changing.

I do not mean to diminish, let alone dismiss, Bush's culpability in the Invasion and Occupation.

I am saying he recognizes the need for a new direction and new approach and is seeking to develop one. One might even say he is panicked, but I, frankly, don't see that in his demeanor.

Impeach is you wish..... and malfrat is really correct in saying the Bush and Cheney grade is an "F."

the Wizard.....

12/06/2006 01:43:00 PM  
Anonymous pekka said...

As far as my too brief study of the report allows me to make a judgement about it, it looks like too little and too late. If something like this would have been an integral part when going into Iraq, it just might have worked. Even sensible sounding emphases on training the "Iraqi Army" is sheer day dreaming due to the fact that having united one in Iraq is not doable. We all should know by now, that Iraqi's loyalties belong exclusively their tribes and sects. The only positive in the report is that it forces Bush to react, and if he refuses to take a heed, it should open up eyes even among fairly hard-core members of the Republican Party.

12/06/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree it is "too little, too late". In all fairness though, it was as much as could have been expected of them. More really.

As for "it should open up eyes even among fairly hard-core members of the Republican Party."

I'm afraid you are grossly underestimating the stupidity of a certain segment of our population.

12/06/2006 09:36:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

As always - nearly always - I find myself in agreement with Pekka. Bush has a firmly etched track record of not having the faintest clue about the gravity of the situation which he has caused; not having the mental capabilities required to receive a message (oral or printed). He won't respond. There's only one way and that offers only a sliver of hope. Tony Blair is supposed to be visiting him at this moment. If Blair shed's his persona of being a POODLE and roars like a Margaret Thatcher LION, then maybe Bush's head will turn.

(But, like I said, I can only offer a slight, sliver of hope.)

12/07/2006 05:57:00 AM  
Blogger Messenger said...

When this ISG report first came down I thought there were three possibilities:

1. Bush would become a cammelion, change his spots overnight, become the champion of all the proposals of Baker's group and act like it was his all along and that he was merely changing his 'strategry' to 'fit the tactics', as he is always saying in his table-top games mentality.

2. Bush would keep yappin' his same ol'- same ol' and become irrelevant, but let Gates and Connie Rice do what has to be done to get out of Iraq. In this scenario Bush would become morphed into the meaningless, even invisible president; there would be no point in his resigning, because he would have already become 'resigned'.

3. Bush, instead of standing and swinging on the hook offered by the ISG, Bush would struggle, writhe and become impaled on the hook, resisting each and every piece of advice given to him.

I think option 3 will be the one Cheney would have him do. In a twisted way, that's my favorite, too, because I would like to see him do himself and his legacy even more self-inflicted damage before he passes from the scene. But #3 would be the worst option for the country.

12/07/2006 06:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw a small part of the Blair/Bush press conference (around 11:30EST) and the Ferret left me with the impression that he stills wants to more or less "stay the course". He mentioned something about waiting for the report from the Joint Chiefs of Staff for how implement the ISG's points but it seemed just words to me because he kept talking about succeeding in Iraq.
The other part that caught my attention before my coworkers changed the channel was that his feathers got a little riled up due to a question from a BBC reporter. Final thought from it was that the Ferret is just going to hold out until January 20, 2009 and leave this mess for the next president.

12/07/2006 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger Indicted Plagiarist said...

Congressman Murtha says that the ISG message of 6 December is not an advance from the message sent by voters on 7 November:

"The Iraq Study Group recommended that we begin a withdrawal of U.S. troops by early 2008, depending on conditions on the ground. This is no different than the current policy. In my view, Iraq is plagued by a growing civil war and what is best for America's security needs and the future of our military is a responsible plan for redeployment."

Huffington

12/07/2006 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Indicted Plagiarist said...

Senator Russ Feingold on the ISG:

"Unfortunately, the Iraq Study Group report does too little to change the flawed mind-set that led to the misguided war in Iraq. Maybe there are still people in Washington who need a study group to tell them that the policy in Iraq isn’t working, but the American people are way ahead of this report.

While the report has regenerated a few good ideas, it doesn’t adequately put Iraq in the context of a broader national security strategy. We need an Iraq policy that is guided by our top national security priority – defeating the terrorist network that attacked us on 9/11 and its allies. We can’t continue to just look at Iraq in isolation. Unless we set a serious timetable for redeploying our troops from Iraq, we will be unable to effectively address these global threats. In the end, this report is a regrettable example of ‘official Washington’ missing the point."

12/07/2006 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Recidivist said...

Unaddressed by the comments above are the unstable and ever-changing conditions on the ground in Iraq. There were no iraqi names on Baker's ISG membership. None that I noticed. And, I submit that the names of the people who are the 'real deciders' are currently unknown by us.

12/07/2006 09:54:00 AM  
Anonymous MJ Johnson said...

It is becoming fashionable to blame the Iraqis for not being committed to saving their own country. Before rationalizing this catastrophic American failure, let's review. We preemptively invaded a sovereign nation without provocation; we dismantled their entire governmental and security infrastructure, and we unleashed the fury of long-standing sectarian hatred, among many other blunders. And now we're mad at them for not fixing it?

Whose war is it? It's George W. Bush's war, and like everything he has touched throughout his life, it will turn out badly. He opened Pandora's box when the first shot was fired. After four years of unparalleled incompetence, it is cruel to expect the Iraqis to close the lid.

12/07/2006 10:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can a group of rich , washed up politicians , that want to become even richer , and believe whole heartedly in globalism come up with a creative solution to anything.

This is pure spin. We are not leaving Iraq. To much money being made.

12/07/2006 10:26:00 AM  
Anonymous pekka said...

Even if she is not my mama, I like her educational snippets of knowledge. :)

MJ Johnson's comment should go a long way to illustrate how deeply this incompetent herd of neocons has taken you in the land of bizarre.

12/07/2006 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger LittleBill said...

If I am not mistaken, I heard Bush, in one of his smartass replies, say that he and his men would get around to reading and considering the report of the Iraq Study Group, in a matter of weeks, adding that the government's shelves were full of similar reports which have never been read due to the exigencies (he would not know that word) of government.

I also have heard him say that it is hard to carry on talks with countries which have refused to talk to us. At the same time, it was he who very early on referred to them as the Axis of Evil and refused to have anything to do with them.

And how can you expect them to talk to us when our up-front demand is that first they must stop all work on nuclear weapons, while we not only have thousands, but are feverishly building more?

12/07/2006 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger LittleBill said...

MJ Johnson really made points in his/her comment. Good piece!

12/07/2006 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Good piece yourself, Lil'Bill! Outstanding, in fact.

12/07/2006 07:02:00 PM  
Blogger HILLBLOGGER & Hillblogger Jr said...

Vigilante,

Was speaking to a British 4-star rank who was visiting here (active service) but is currently US based. He believes the Democrats winning the mid-term elections is a long term loss for the Democratic Party in that Bush will choose NOT to do anything at all about Iraq, a kind of Republican Party political strategy, heap the blame on the Democrats for the non-resolution of the Iraq problem, sort of to keep them from landing the next presidency.

What say you?

12/08/2006 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Hills, I think the Rovebbels strategy is even longer-termed than that: to keep the OCCUPATION writhing in Iraq until a Democratic President has to bring the troops home in 2009, so that the GOP can do their brownshirt march in 2012, accusing 'defeatocrats' of having 'lost Iraq'. That is why I say Bush and Cheney have to clean up their mess in Iraq or Leave office BEFORE we vote in the presidential elections in November 2008.

Our terms. Not their terms.

12/08/2006 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger M.D. said...

Why is everything expressed in the subjunctive?

Our standing has already been diminished. We are well past "could be diminished."

12/08/2006 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Sharp, M.D., razor-sharp.

12/08/2006 05:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Hoff said...

The major military change recommended is to embed more U.S. troops into Iraqi military units as a means of improving training. Based on all evidence and past nonperformance (including cut and run) by Iraqi troops, this will greatly contribute to the loss of American military lives. Those U.S. soldiers will lack the accompaniment of well-trained and reliable fellow Americans to back them up in combat. What a nonsensical idea for the group to propose.

12/10/2006 10:42:00 AM  

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