Reaction to Iraq Study Group Report

Two worth noting:

Sen. Russ Feingold on Countdown (Crooks and Liars has the video):

The fact is this commission was composed apparently entirely of people who did not have the judgment to oppose this Iraq war in the first place, and did not have the judgment to realize it was not a wise move in the fight against terrorism. So that's who is doing this report. Then I looked at the list of who testified before them. There is virtually no one who opposed the war in the first place. Virtually no one who has been really calling for a different strategy that goes for a global approach to the war on terrorism. So this is really a Washington inside job and it shows not in the description of what's happened - that's fairly accurate - but it shows in the recommendations. It's been called a classic Washington compromise that does not do the job of extricating us from Iraq in a way that we can deal with the issues in Southeast Asia, in Afghanistan, and in Somalia which are every bit as important as what is happening in Iraq. This report does not do the job and it's because it was not composed of a real representative group of Americans who believe what the American people showed in the election, which is that it's time for us to have a timetable to bring the troops out of Iraq.

Al Gore on the Today Show:

Gore: Well, the report this morning is actually one of several studies. There's one in the Pentagon. There has reportedly been one in the White House itself is (garbled) up. They're all basically saying the same thing, Matt–this is an utter disaster. This was the worst strategic mistake in the entire history of the United States and now we as a nation have to find a way, in George Mitchell’s words—"to manage a disaster." but—I would urge the president not to try to separate out the personal issues of being blamed in history for this mistake and instead recognize it’s not about him. It’s about our country and we all have to find a way to get our troops home and to prevent a regional conflagration there.

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    "Beating off the rescue party" (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by aw on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 08:46:45 AM EST
    We know Bush blows off intelligence he doesn't like, but this is beyond embarrassing.

    Two years ago, in December 2004, two frank face-to-face briefings were delivered to him from the field. In the first, the CIA station chief in Baghdad, who had filed an urgent memo the month before titled "The Expanding Insurgency in Iraq," was invited to the White House. The CIA officer had written that the insurgency was becoming more "self-confident" and in Sunni provinces "largely unchallenged." His report concluded: "The ease with which the insurgents move and exist in Baghdad and the Sunni heartland is bolstering their self-confidence further." He predicted that the United States would suffer more than 2,000 dead. Bush's reaction was to remark about the station chief, "What is he, some kind of defeatist?" Less than a week after the briefing, the officer was informed he was being reassigned from his post in Baghdad.
    A former high-ranking intelligence officer and close associate of Harvey's told me that during Harvey's briefing the president interrupted, turning to his aides to inquire, "Is this guy a Democrat?" Harvey's warnings, of course, were as thoroughly ignored as those of the CIA station chief.
    In preparation for his rejection of the Baker Commission report, Bush created two other study groups within his administration, one led by Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The effect was to diminish the commission as merely one among several groups offering advice. For all intents and purposes Pace's group is a counter-commission.

    Beating off the rescue party

    Bush (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 09:26:34 AM EST
    can't accept that daddy is trying to save his son's presidency, or can't even realize that is what the ISG was for. He only wants to hear what he only wants to hear.

    The more of stuff like this that comes out the more I believe that what is happening in Iraq is exactly what Bush and the rest of them intended.


    It's hard not to believe it. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by aw on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 09:37:59 AM EST
    The only alternative is that W is truly insane, driven by a monumental, game of one-upmanship with his father and screwing it up again.  He could be just another of history's madmen.

    I can't tell anymore.


    Maybe even worse... (none / 0) (#6)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 09:41:11 AM EST
    ...it could be both.

    Here I sit, broken hearted... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by desertswine on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 09:50:11 AM EST
    The most valuable (really, only valuable)lesson of this report is the public issuance of the fact that the Bush Middle-East policy is, and always was, crap.

    Bush never intended to leave Iraq... (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Bill Arnett on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 01:04:00 PM EST
    ...and Daddy "can't make him do it".

    He's is there to pay the highest price for oil that has ever been known in the world: many thousands of dead soldiers, tens of thousands wounded, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi dead, and borrowing and spending more money than anyone in history.

    At this rate, IF he secures the oil, the price per barrel will always have been too high, and, again, meanwhile our banker, the communist Chinese circle the globe buying oil contracts and exploration deals with every country possible, JUST AS ANY SUPERPOWER OF GREAT WEALTH SHOULD, without damaging their reputation (it has in fact been enhanced), bankrupting their country, and sending citizens off to die in fruitless wars.

    So now, with the ISG findings backing him up (with large portions of it utterly ignored) and his own phony-baloney commissions to rubberstamp his course, bush will continue down the primrose path until he finds himself to be a solitary lemming going over the cliff, dragging an unwilling country over with him.

    It does no good for the people to speak, as they did last election, when for all practical purposes, our current C-in-C and his generals are deaf.

    Oh! And mornin' aw, edger, everybody

    Good day, Bill (none / 0) (#11)
    by aw on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 01:35:27 PM EST
    Glad to "see" you.

    Another convert (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by squeaky on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 11:10:49 AM EST
    Those that haven't been already voted out of Congress are starting to listen:

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In an emotional speech on the Senate floor Thursday night, Sen Gordon Smith, a moderate Republican from Oregon who has been a supporter of the war in Iraq, said the U.S. military's "tactics have failed" and he "cannot support that anymore."

    Smith said he is at, "the end of my rope when it comes to supporting a policy that has our soldiers patrolling the same streets in the same way, being blown up the same bombs, day after day.

    "That is absurd," he said. "It may even be criminal."


    "I, for one, am tired of paying the price of 10 or more of our troops dying a day. So let's cut and run or cut and walk, but let us fight the way on terror more intelligently that we have because we have fought this war in a very lamentable way," he said.


    Surrender (1.00 / 0) (#1)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 06:41:59 AM EST
    The best description I have heard came from a friend of mine last night who deemed it:

    The Iraqi Surrender Group made up of ROR's.

    Why can't these old dudes go off into retirement without acting like they know something? And if they do, why didn't they use that knowledge when they were on the big stage.

    The joke writes itself (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by aw on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 08:53:25 AM EST

    Why can't these old dudes go off into retirement without acting like they know something?

    Echoes of Bush's mind (none / 0) (#8)
    by Al on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 12:48:25 PM EST
    Reading this, I think you are echoing exactly what is going through Bush's mind.

    And of course, it is this kind of blindness that prevents him, and you, from really understanding anything that's going on. Tony Blair may try to explain a few things to Junior today, in one-syllable words, but Jr. isn't really going to listen.

    Surrender? My friend, you have nothing to surrender.


    I imagine (none / 0) (#9)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 12:50:29 PM EST
    it echoes quite a bit in bush's mind... errr.. head.

    I wouldn't..... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 02:00:53 PM EST
    call GDub an old-dude just yet Jim, but it fits for Cheney.  Retire already please, and stop acting like you know something!

    Naaah, Jimaka's getting his words in print (none / 0) (#12)
    by scribe on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 01:37:56 PM EST
    from that paragon of conservative thought:  the editorial page of the New York Post.

    Their lead editorial?  "The Counsel of Cowards", wherein all recommendations of the ISG are lumped into "surrender".

    Of course, had you looked at their front page today, you would see the editors there put Jim Baker's and Lee Hamilton's faces on monkeys' bodies, under the headline "Surrender Monkeys - Iraq Panel Urges US to Give Up"

    So, we know where all this hoopla is going...  

    N.B.  To tell the truth, Jim Baker really looks right on a monkey's body....

    The Post?.... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 02:10:14 PM EST
    The paragon of unintentional comedy....you know what will be on their editorial page before the paper goes to press.

    I didn't know using common sense is called surrender now.

    There was never a victory to be had....occupations always fail, some sooner than others.


    Jim Baker (none / 0) (#15)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 02:21:19 PM EST
    really looks right on a monkey's body

    So does Bush.


    Bipartisan commissions (none / 0) (#16)
    by koshembos on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 02:40:55 PM EST
    The 9/11 commission and the ISG are plenty of proof that this approach doesn't work. In this one, it is sad to see decent and intelligent people such as Eagleburger, O'Connor and Paneta being led by the nose by a has-been like Baker.

    After all Baker has sold Lebanon to Syria in 1991 and is trying it again. He sold Israel in 1991 and is trying it again. Well, Mr. Baker: it's 2006 now go back to Houston.

    As for the pathetic "we hope that we can take advantage of the last chance in Iraq," forget it; there is no chance just package up and leave and save both American and Iraqi lives.

    Assessment section....how many dead? (none / 0) (#17)
    by Lora on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 03:09:20 PM EST
    I skimmed through this report in the bookstore today.  Can anybody find any estimates of the number dead - Iraqis, Americans, military, civilian - as a result of the war?  I didn't see anything first look through.  I'd think that would be part of any serious assessment of Iraq.

    estimates (none / 0) (#18)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 03:13:31 PM EST
    Desertswine posted some stats here, yesterday. There is more than one post by hi, so skim through the thread. They are not pleasant counts...

    hmmm (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 03:17:34 PM EST
    If the death toll so far is missing from the report....that tells me the "experts" aren't even considering what is most important.

    It is a very, very, very serious... (none / 0) (#21)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 03:25:42 PM EST
    PR problem for the Bush Administration.

    Very serious. Ahem.


    But (none / 0) (#22)
    by Edger on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 04:28:07 PM EST
    To them that's all it is. A PR Problem.

    Death toll? Oh yeah, that. You mean collateral damage???


    Blinded By Nationalism? (none / 0) (#20)
    by squeaky on Thu Dec 07, 2006 at 03:20:32 PM EST
    Israel's prime minister, Ehud Olmert, said on Thursday that he disagreed with the Iraq Study Group's linkage of the turmoil in Iraq to the need to resolve the conflicts between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

    "The Middle East has a lot of problems that are not connected to us,"

    Sorry to say pal, the world has a lot of problems that are directly related to Israel's policies and steadfast denial typified by Olmert's statement above.


    His guts, their blood. (none / 0) (#24)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 08, 2006 at 12:14:24 PM EST
    Redouble the effort when you've lost sight of the goal. Anything else is "surrender". And people   wonder why the Crusades are mentioned so often.