I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The only option

From swopa at Needlenose:
The Baker commission's only reason for existence is to provide a formal channel for telling the President that there's no pony in Iraq -- that failure/defeat is not only an option, it's basically the only one left.
I think that's about right and Baker is going to find a way to "cut and run" not to save Dubya but to save the Republican Party. History will hang the dismal failure that is Iraq around George W. Bush's neck and there is no way his legacy can be saved.

But there are some who still don't get it. The same ones who still think we could have won in Vietnam. The other day John Cole had a post titled John Hinderaker- Total Idiot. Well Hinderaker proved Cole right again yesterday.
Say It Ain't So, W!
Tomorrow President Bush will meet with Jim Baker and Lee Hamilton to discuss the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group. The group's report will be issued next month, but presumably its conclusions have more or less taken shape. Based on the leaking that is currently going on, the news could hardly be worse:

A top U.S. intelligence official has been meeting with Middle East counterparts to discuss proposals expected from the Baker commission on Iraq, Middle East sources have told Newsday.
How's that for multilateralism? The report's conclusions apparently are being cleared in advance by Middle Eastern intelligence officials.

The proposals reportedly include an approach to Iran and Syria — a policy that Robert Gates, a member of the commission, has argued for.***
Rarely has a government report been more eagerly awaited than the one being prepared by former secretary of state James Baker and former congressman Lee Hamilton, an Indiana Democrat, about how the U.S. can leave Iraq.

I would have said the question is how the U.S. can win in Iraq.
It's becoming obvious to everyone but Hinderaker, McCain and Lieberman that we can't "win" in Iraq anymore than we could have won in Vietnam. Hinderaker then says this.
Iraq "cannot be stabilized"? That strikes me as a ridiculous statement. One can legitimately ask whether Iraq can be stabilized at acceptable political, military or financial cost. But that would require some hard analysis of what the stakes are and what those costs may be. Notwithstanding the results of Tuesday's election, I think the American people are adult enough for such a discussion.
Wrong John, the American people will not stand for a "cake walk" that drags on for years. We have indeed learned the lessons of Vietnam even if you haven't.

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