The bad news about the Baker Commission

I'm beginning to reassess just a little bit my excitement about the Baker Commission. It seems to me that "we" have been paying too much attention to the glass-is-half-full side of the "study group," that it's a victory for the "realists" and a defeat for the neocons and that it will give Bush a political cover for changing the course in Iraq, negotiate with Iran and Syria, etc. Well ... with all the "Not-so-fast" warnings with regard to withdrawal from Iraq coming even from some of the "good guys," I'm now concerned that Baker and Company are also going to provide a political cover to Democratic war critics who are hesitant about pressing Bush to get out of Mesopotamia. That could turn out to be the glass-is-half-empty side of Baker-Hamilton. Or is it going to be Baker-Hamilton/McCain-Lieberman, that is, a mushy bipartisan consensus in Congress in support for cosmetic changes in the Iraq policy and perhaps even backing for deploying more troops?


Hoots said…
Yesterday's news was about a wholesale kidnapping of civilians from the Education Ministry by a "mostly Shiite" group, and this morning's headline is about an attack on a bakery by a Sunni group, because bakeries are mostly run by Shiites.

I can't make heads or tails of such a mess myself. A bakery, for crying out loud!

If we don't get out of there and let these local people fight it out we are only asking for more trouble. This is a civil war by anyone's reckoning, and we are an outside influence trying to be inside.

I sure hope you're wrong, but I fear you may not be. I don't think getting in the middle of such a conflict is even consistent with a corrupted notion of realpolitik.
LeoStrauss said…
Here's the problem -- even with Rummy gone, does anyone think this crowd can execute a finesse strategy of engagement and tactical retreat?

Didn't think so.

Even if the ISG is more than mere cosmetics, this regime proves "It's the Execution, Stupid!" that's as much their problem as the Jacobean premise. Which raises a haunting notion of a bungled finesse strategy being even more problematic than the existing mess.
I agree that these guys won't be able to reolve the problems. The best-case-scenario re the ISG is the introduction of a "process" as opposed to an "outcome" ir "solution," that is, getting Bush to agree to an iternational conference on Iraq and the mideast with Iran and Syria invited.
Anonymous said…
There's also the possibility is like one of those fake trading rooms that Enron supposedly had - to give investors the illusion of purposeful activity and direction. We shall see.
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