"The Way Forward: A New Approach"?
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.