A panel mandated by Congress to develop new Iraq policy is leaning toward recommending either a phased withdrawal of soldiers or a new engagement initiative with Iran and Syria to end the violence in Iraq.Now this will certainly not make Dick Cheney and the neocon nutcase cabal happy but what about Dubya himself? Rick Moran at the Right Wing Nut House has an interesting observation. (permalink not working, scroll down to IRAQ STUDY GROUP TO RECOMMEND “QUIT OR COMMIT”)
The bipartisan Iraq Study Group, chaired by a secretary of state for President George H.W. Bush, James Baker, and a former House International Relations Committee chairman, Lee Hamilton, met Monday to hear a series of options from its expert working groups.
According to participants in that meeting, the two chairmen received a blunt assessment this week of viable options for America in Iraq that boiled down to two choices.
One plan would have America begin its exit from Iraq through a phased withdrawal similar to that proposed this spring by Rep. John Murtha, a Democrat of Pennsylvania and former Marine. Another would have America make a last push to internationalize the military occupation of Iraq and open a high-level dialogue with Syria and Iran to persuade them to end their state-sanctioned policy of aiding terrorists who are sabotaging the elected government in Baghdad.
At a press conference yesterday, Messrs. Baker and Hamilton stressed that they have arrived at no conclusions on policy recommendations. Both chairman also said no public report will emerge until they brief Congress and the White House, and until well after the November midterm elections.
In actuality, the fix has been in from the beginning with the formation of this Group. Given its makeup, it is more than likely that the ISG was set up to provide our national leaders as well as members of both parties political cover for an Iraq exit.
This is a time honored exercise in Washington. Whenever a problem is just too sticky to be resolved in a normal political way, form a Commission and take cover behind its recommendations. The list of the use of such a device is long; social security, Medicare, base closings, the solution to racial riots (Kerner Commission) to name a few.
Will Bush acquiesce in this charade? Much could depend on the outcome of the November elections. If the Republicans hang on, Bush may thank the blue bloods for their recommendations and continue his own way. If the Democrats take control, he will probably be forced to listen closely to what these national security wise men are proposing and throw in the towel on Iraq.