Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

September 20, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

THE BAKER/HAMILTON COMMISSION....Last month we printed a story by Bob Dreyfuss about the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan team headed by longtime Bush family friend James A. Baker III and former 9/11 Commission chair Lee Hamilton. Their charter is to figure out what to do in Iraq, but the ISG's work has been done under such a heavy veil of secrecy that no one has much of an idea of what they'll recommend. Nonetheless, there were clues, and our piece ended with this quote:

"The object of our policy has to be to get our little white asses out of there as soon as possible," another working-group participant told me. To do that, he said, Baker must confront the president "like the way a family confronts an alcoholic. You bring everyone in, and you say, 'Look, my friend, it's time to change.'"

Today, Eli Lake at the New York Sun says that the ISG met with its expert working groups on Monday and were told pretty much the same thing:

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.

....The Iraq Study Group is likely to be as influential as the 9/11 commission, which Mr. Hamilton cochaired with a former governor of New Jersey, Thomas Keane. While the Iraq panel is not charged with assigning blame on past policy failures, as the 9/11 commission was, it does have the ability to give new legitimacy to a withdrawal strategy and force the administration's hand on policy.

So: Bush should either plan to withdraw from Iraq or else open up talks with Syria and Iran. It's hard to know which of those two options he'd loathe the most, and even with Baker delivering the bad news it's hard to see Bush agreeing to either course. By the time the ISG delivers its recommendations officially, though, he might not have much of a choice.

Kevin Drum 2:00 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (105)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Here's a question. If Baker storms the office, slaps GWB around and gets him to withdraw from Iraq.....

.....what effect does this conversation and conversion have on the plans for Iran?

Also, wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall for the conversation between Baker and Cheney?

Posted by: zmulls on September 20, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

You can't tell me what to do!! I'm Preznit!!

Posted by: Ugh on September 20, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Make it a cage match and sell tickets, zmulls, and I would hock about anything to watch. My money would be on Baker - vice talks tough, and that is usually the hallmark of a bully who can't back it up when called on the carpet.

Posted by: Global Citizen on September 20, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you sir, may I have another?

Posted by: George W Bush (fratboi extraordinaire) on September 20, 2006 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Hot damn! We might pull another American defeat out of this yet! Can't wait for them "last helicopter" pictures.

Posted by: dnc on September 20, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Quoted
make a last push to internationalize the military occupation of Iraq and open a high-level dialogue with Syria and Iran...

and then said...

either plan to withdraw from Iraq or else open up talks with Syria and Iran.

I read the first as doing more than opening talks with Iraq and Iran, i.e, getting other countries (not Iraq and Iran) to come in too. Which opens up more questions, of course.

Posted by: Red State Mike on September 20, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

It's hard to know which of those two options he'd loathe the most.

Especially when he's so fond of his bullshit 'stay the course' and 'adapt to win' option.

Posted by: grape_crush on September 20, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

So great, the Iranians are going to save our asses.

Posted by: liberalMinded on September 20, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

It's obvious that if Baker is involved it will mean some type of exit strategy will be formed. I wonder if Baker talks with 41 about this and will 43 accept advice from someone close to his father.

Posted by: Carl on September 20, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

> It's hard to know which of those two
> options he'd loathe the most, and even
> with Baker delivering the bad news it's
> hard to see Bush agreeing to either course.

I have come to agree with Duncan Black on this: W Bush never changes his mind, and is NEVER pushed into doing anything he doesn't want to do.

W Bush doesn't want to leave Iraq.

The tag line from the Dirty Harry movie, "a good man knows his limitations", of course meant that a good man has no limitations. Whatever _we_ may think of Bush's limitations, he firmly believes he has none (internal or external). Hez the President, see? I don't think it matters if Baker, Babs, or god lays out the facts: W ain't leavin'.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on September 20, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Has Lee Hamilton ever stood up to a Republican? He is to committees what Alan Colmes is to fox news: a fig leaf of "balance"

Posted by: exhuming mccarthy on September 20, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

i think we know enough about george bush to know that he's going to loathe both options and reject them in favor of "adapting to win."

assuming these options even get as far as being presented to him, which - given that there are reasonable odds that we will have attacked iran and created a whole new set of dismal facts on the ground rendering the commission irrelevant - is not yet a sure thing.

Posted by: howard on September 20, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

There's always a third option, to wit, stall on any meaningful action, let another couple of thousand soldiers and Marines die over the next couple of years, divert attention by bombing Iran and otherwise stirring up dust, and then leave the whole mess for somebody else to clean up.

After all, this is not about "legitimizing" a course of action in anybody's eyes except those of Bush's domestic political constituency.

Posted by: bleh on September 20, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

As I pointed out when this was brought up before, I supsect that this commission is nothing more than kabuki theater. Baker's Texas law firm was the master of ceremonies for the State Department's plan for the war, so I find it just a wee bit disingenuous for him to head a commission examining the failings of that plan and proposing possible exit strategies. Especially given that the whole goal of the plan was to stabilize oil prices and keep them up for the benefit of Baker's Houston oil buddies.

Posted by: Andrew Wyatt on September 20, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Plan C will be to blame the Democrats for brainwashing Baker and turning him into a cut-and-run faggy appeaser.

Posted by: craigie on September 20, 2006 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

We have to get behind this. We have to get out of Iraq and its just better if we can make withdrawal as non-partisan an issue as possible. We dont want "stabbed in the back" politics for the next generation.

Posted by: jimmy on September 20, 2006 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

"Get our little white asses out of there"

I guess the substantial number of black, Latino and other minorities who are doing the dying don't count. it's King George and his court that we care about

Posted by: hopeless pedant on September 20, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Iraq=Hobson to the power of 10.

Posted by: steve duncan on September 20, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

"--such a heavy veil of secrecy"? Hummm, sounds like there were oil people in mix.

And uh, just who was it that commissioned this group of people? Al From or Big Oil? It couldn't have been Republicans and since this so-called commission wasn't commissioned by Bush or Cheney, and not congressional Republicans, what weight if any does their opinion carry?

If Bush didn't listen to Powell, Brent Scowcroft, or even the 9/11 commission, than prey tell, why would Bush listen to Baker?


Posted by: Cheryl on September 20, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

I read the first as doing more than opening talks with Iraq and Iran, i.e, getting other countries (not Iraq and Iran) to come in too. Which opens up more questions, of course.

Such as which country would be fucking stupid enough to join our flailing fiasco in Iraq....

Posted by: Stefan on September 20, 2006 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Such as which country would be fucking stupid enough to join our flailing fiasco in Iraq...

Where there's oil...

Posted by: Red State Mike on September 20, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, I missed that one...make a last push to internationalize the military occupation of Iraq and open a high-level dialogue with Syria and Iran...

I can't see the classified already: Rich oil field property in exchange for military support.

It'll be so much cheaper and more productive to wait until Bush loses Iraq. In fact, if Russia, Germany, France and China play their respective cards right, and wait until Bush's leaves/gets impeached/has a grassy knoll incident with bitter big oil companies, THEN those foriegn countries could simply just pick up oil contracts for song without any blood loss at all.

Posted by: Cheryl on September 20, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

The hilarious part is that needed a commission to figure this out.

Posted by: gregor on September 20, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

er, I mean I can see..

Posted by: Cheryl on September 20, 2006 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Poor Poppy. Little W is obviously deatroying his dad's legacy too, such as it was.

What a sad and futile attempt to reclaim it.

Posted by: melior (in Austin) on September 20, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

It doesn't matter what Baker says, what the post-election GOP says, or what the military says.

Bush has stated quite clearly:

"As long as I am president we are not leaving Iraq."

I don't think he could be any more clear, yet people keep talking about withdrawal as if it is an option. It's not.

Posted by: DP on September 20, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

melior,

Yeah, Bush the younger has trashed Poppy's legacy, but on the other hand he makes Poppy look like a frigging genius by comparison.

Posted by: Tripp on September 20, 2006 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think he could be any more clear, yet people keep talking about withdrawal as if it is an option. It's not.
Posted by: DP on September 20, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

In other words, it's only a post-impeachment option.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on September 20, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think he could be any more clear, yet people keep talking about withdrawal as if it is an option. It's not.
Posted by: DP

Yeah, I don't know that I really take him at his word on that. He'll toe that line up until a somewhat face-saving plan for withdrawal can be drawn up and implemented.

Posted by: cyntax on September 20, 2006 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

And then Bush busts out laughing and goes, "Ok. So what's the real recommendations?"

Anybody?

Anybody?

Bush already has a solution to the Iraq mess. He's stated it plainly. He intends to leave it to the next president.

Problem solved!

Posted by: Jeff on September 20, 2006 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

DP,

Oh, yeah, Bush said we won't leave so we won't.

Wait, what about these Bush quotes?

"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him."
- G.W. Bush, 9/13/01

"I want justice...There's an old poster out West, as I recall, that said, 'Wanted: Dead or Alive,'"
- G.W. Bush, 9/17/01, UPI

Why that old flip flopper.

Posted by: Tripp on September 20, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

And then Bush busts out laughing and goes, "Ok. So what's the real recommendations?"

You know Baker isn't going into that room without Babs. He's not a complete moron.

Posted by: cyntax on September 20, 2006 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

If Bush didn't listen to Powell, Brent Scowcroft, or even the 9/11 commission, than prey tell, why would Bush listen to Baker?

When the consigliere (sp?) talks, even da bosses listen up, kapish?

Posted by: atablarasa on September 20, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Get our 'white' asses out of there?

Holy sacred cow.

You mean someone in Republican land actually understands the sociodynamics?

How's that?

Did they watch the first 6 minutes of this George Carlin screed from 1992?

What a bunch of dumb fucks.
They are only 14 years late in comprehension.

Posted by: koreyel on September 20, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

If Bush didn't listen to Powell, Brent Scowcroft, or even the 9/11 commission, than prey tell, why would Bush listen to Baker?

Hopefully, because Bush understands he owes his very presidency to Baker's underhanded efforts during the 2000 recount.

Baker's a nasty piece of work. He's the only guy on the planet that could pull this off. In this case, I wish him luck, because I want those soldiers and Marines home ASAP.

Posted by: Noam Sane on September 20, 2006 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

Tripp,

Getting Osama was important to Bush, then he blew that and had to minimize his mistake by diminishing the importance of Bin Laden. If we know anything about Bush it is that he is unwilling (and probably to some extent unable) to admit mistakes. Many of his lies and other bullshit revolve around this principle. That is what is different about Iraq. For him to leave "before the job is done" would be tantamount to admitting the most momentous decision of his entire life was a giant fuck-up. He cannot and will not do that. Hence, as Jeff noted, it will be up to the next president to figure out how to leave Iraq.

Posted by: DP on September 20, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone know when this commission's report is due? (or at least, supposed to be due?)

Posted by: Jackmormon on September 20, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Another third option: the December coup, return of Allawi/Chalabi, PSAs for all, and ramp up to the next product rollout -- Iran.

Posted by: StonyPillow on September 20, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

> Hopefully, because Bush understands he
> owes his very presidency to Baker's
> underhanded efforts during the 2000
> recount.

So? W Bush has acknowledged no help and shown no gratitude at any point in his life. His most common action is to spit in the eye of anyone who extends him a helping hand. He is a respecter of no person, he can stand up to Baker, and I suspect he will.

Look - there may be questions about W's competence or even mental health, but he is capable of making his own decisions and sticking to them. By all accounts this "no cut and run" business is actually the way he thinks. Send Baker to bully him? Time to poke ole Dad 41 in the eye again...

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on September 20, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Leveraged buyout, see also Kuwait and desert storm. Sauds and Baker are quite close, this is a chance to shift hedge funds on a macro scale and appease domestic concerns regarding the war budget. Wonder if Cheney will agree to let the Saud financiers audit his money trail?

The price of oil says:

yes!

Posted by: Mr.Murder on September 20, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone know when this commission's report is due? (or at least, supposed to be due?)

They have said they will not release it before the midterms, sometime between then and March 15th (I think).

Posted by: DP on September 20, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

that dirtbag Baker,
there was a quote from the thief on the History channel last night that said it all:
"we always had military plan anytime there was a threat to western access to middle-eastern oil"

same piece of s**t that threatened Havel with economic sanctions if he named Frank Zappa as ambassador of music.

Posted by: mike on September 20, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

er, I guess it was commissioned by congressional Republicans after all.

The ISG was launched by Congress and quietly endorsed by the White House last April at the suggestion of a senior Republican lawmaker, Rep. Frank Wolf, who expressed growing concern about both the increasingly obvious deterioration of the situation in Iraq and the threats it posed to the larger region and the increasingly rancorous and partisan tone of the domestic debate about the war here.

But Tripp's right, Bush can't pull out of Iraq and he is not going to listen to Baker, and that is mostly because Cheney won't listen to Baker. Bush has always been impressionable but he is to far gone down the wrong road now. Bush put all his eggs in basket of "stay the course" and "Dems are pro-terrorist". Bush would need to try out something different right before mid-term elections and Karl Rove doesn't know how to play any other political cards except for the hate Dems one.


Posted by: Cheryl on September 20, 2006 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

The Record of George W Bush on "finishing the job":

Iraq: "Mission Accomplished" declared in 2003. 1500+ deaths per month in 2006.

Bin Laden: "Wanted Dead Or Alive" in 2001. "Not all that concerned about him" in 2003.

National Guard Service: left early to work on political campaign.

Satisfying his wife: you do understand the side-effects of Cocaine, don't you?

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on September 20, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Cheryl wrote:

I can't see the classified already: Rich oil field property in exchange for military support.

... and later...

er, I mean I can see...
No, Cheryl, you were right the first time, you can't see...

After all, it's classified.   ;)

Posted by: Raven on September 20, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Jackmormon:

A clue as to the timing of the ISG report release is at the bottom of Dreyfuss' piece:

"In any case, the Iraq Study Group won't issue its report until some time early in 2007. In a recent speech, according to a member of the task force, Baker said that to do something before the November 2006 elections would inevitably politicize the report, something that Baker desperately wants to avoid."

Which of course, given the source, means that the ISG's recommendations are likely to be finely-tuned for their maximum political effect: they seem to waiting (as is smart) to see what the Congressional landscape will look like for the next Congress.


Posted by: Jay C on September 20, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

Look Baker was brought in to find a way to Get out and put the blame on the Dems,No if's and's or but's. I say by mid October we will see the first signs of there plan.But everyone remember We on the left where right on almost every aspect of Iraq and Nobody wanted to listen.Haliburton was W's biggest mistake in Iraq.Had Haliburton just hired thousands of Iraqi's to do the work get some spending money in there pockets thing would be diffrent for the good.

Posted by: Mann Coulter on September 20, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

A President gets advice from many sources, especially when there's a problem that isn't getting solved, like Iraq. No doubt there are experts who would recommend withdrawing troops, adding troops, keeping the same number, etc. etc. I don't know that this Commission is more reliable that all of the other experts.

I do belive that Bush will continue to follow whatever strategy he thinks is most likely to be effective. His judgment may turn out to be wrong, but I don't see him as following a Commission's recommendations unless he agrees with them.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 20, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

> Look Baker was brought in to find a way
> to Get out and put the blame on the Dems,

I am sure that putting blame on the Dems is never far from the front of Baker's mind, but it seems pretty clear he was brought in to save any hopes of a Republican presidency in 2008. The question is then, who brought him in? The only answer I can see is the so-called Grown-Up Republicans(tm). That means, among others, Bush 41. And W Bush 43 will not, repeat /will not/, allow himself to be pushed around by that bunch. And I don't think Cheney likes them very much either.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on September 20, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

"The Iraq Study Group is likely to be as influential as the 9/11 commission: and we all know how many of that worked out. How many of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations did the Bush Administration follow?
The last I heard the ISG wasn't going to present it's proposals until March. I still think Bush plans on staying the course killing Iraq and the US Army til he gets out of office hoping the blame for the debacle will fall on the next president.

Posted by: markg8 on September 20, 2006 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

I do belive that Bush will continue to follow whatever strategy he thinks is most likely to be effective.

Possibly, if "effective" means "politically advantageous to the GOP"

But really, your faith is touching.

Posted by: craigie on September 20, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, I'd love to see them adopt a plan "similar to that proposed ... by Rep. John Murtha." The reaction of the wingnut chorus would be entertainment of the highest order.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on September 20, 2006 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

> Baker must confront the president "like the way a family confronts an alcoholic..."

Very interesting choice of words, given that we have a dry drunk for a president.

Posted by: millsapian87 on September 20, 2006 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Jay C and DP. I guess I won't hold my breath for it, then.

Posted by: Jackmormon on September 20, 2006 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

So-called ex-liberal: I must second craigie's observation. Don't ever change, man. Your guilelessness has a certain ... poignancy.

Posted by: Alek Hidell on September 20, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

We're "going to report after the midterm election," Baker announced.

Posted by: Den on September 20, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Iraq: "Mission Accomplished" declared in 2003. 1500+ deaths per month in 2006.

July and August were worse:

In July at least 3 590 people were killed and in August 3 009 died in bloody attacks on civilians, according to the UN human rights report.

"The month of July witnessed an increase in the number of security related incidents resulting in an unprecedented number of civilians killed throughout the country," the report said.

http://www.news24.com/News24/World/Iraq/0,,2-10-1460_2001589,00.html


Posted by: Windhorse on September 20, 2006 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

How mant repubs,Thomas1?

Posted by: Mann Coulter on September 20, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

For him to leave "before the job is done" would be tantamount to admitting the most momentous decision of his entire life was a giant fuck-up. He cannot and will not do that. Hence, as Jeff noted, it will be up to the next president to figure out how to leave Iraq.

However, "staying the course" is untenable. Accordingly, I predict that Bush will be impeached or will simply snap under the stress and resign due to mental incapacity. The thing that will push him over the edge may be discovering that the POTUS isn't a king after all and that the other oligarchs don't like him anymore. In other words, he may be given orders.

Posted by: Baldrick on September 20, 2006 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

This is all the liberals' fault for making Bush invade Iraq.

Posted by: grytpype on September 20, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

...same piece of s**t that threatened Havel with economic sanctions if he named Frank Zappa as ambassador of music.

I hate Baker's guts and love Havel, but I actually approved of that threat.

Posted by: wish you were here on September 20, 2006 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

"like the way a family confronts an alcoholic.

Yup, it's time for a different kind of intervention.

Posted by: ckelly on September 20, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

> or will simply snap under the stress and
> resign due to mental incapacity. The thing
> that will push him over the edge may be
> discovering that the POTUS isn't a king
> after all and that the other oligarchs
> don't like him anymore. In other words,
> he may be given orders.

Well, I thought a breakdown was likely any time after 2004. But you will note his handlers are very careful not to put him in any position where he is under severe stress and/or must answer any follow-up questions. One tough question per public session, with one canned answer from the earphone [1] and that is it. So I have come to the conclusion that he can tough it out until 2008 if he wants to.

So that brings up the question: what if the poobahs tell him to resign ..... and he doesn't? Impeachment won't happen as the Dems would not participate (if they are smart). A Republican Congress impeaching the Republican President they were backing in September 2006? I doubt it.

Cranky

[1] Note that I do not object to a President using an "earphone voice" for day-to-day work; just not during a debate.

Posted by: Cranky Observer on September 20, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

The ISG is withholding its report until after the election because it will be devastating for the Repubs.

"We lost the war and we have to pull out" is not news the Repubs want their remaining supporters to hear.

Posted by: grytpype on September 20, 2006 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

"We lost the war and we have to pull out" is not news the Repubs want their remaining supporters to hear.

True, though I think we have to talk about the terminology. There are no longer any GOP "supporters" - the remaining deaf dumb and blind people are now to be referred to as "cultists"

Posted by: craigie on September 20, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

the remaining deaf dumb and blind people are now to be referred to as "cultists"

Cultists, backwash, the very bitter end
How many grandchildren's dollars can you spend?
Koolaid drinkers, anti-thinkers, masters of the spin
Buckle up, bottom third--real life is closing in.

Posted by: wish you were here on September 20, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

I agree that Bush is not going to listen to Baker, he is going to continue to tread water until he can hand the mess off to the next president.

That's unless the Army finally breaks before then. ABC had a report online today that the Army may need to "call up" more troops.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=2466957

They are either going to have to burden the Reserve and NG even more, or increase the size of the regular Army. No mention of a draft in this article.

Posted by: grytpype on September 20, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

As soon as we can fully blame Maliki and the Iraqi people generally for the mess we created, we're outta there.

The Swift Boating of Iraq Continues

.

Posted by: WPB on September 20, 2006 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas1, if the ISG tells Bush we have to withdraw and he doesn't, he should face impeachment. Sorry if you think that's a federal crime.

Posted by: grytpype on September 20, 2006 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

There's nothing in the Constitution that says that we have to accept a retarded child-man who can lie the country into a war, lose the war, not take a face-saving way out when it's offered to him by the ISG, and still keep his job.

I don't like having a failing, flailing retard as President, although you seem to enjoy it.

Posted by: grytpype on September 20, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

> Thomas1, if the ISG tells Bush we
> have to withdraw and he doesn't,
> he should face impeachment.

Much as I hate to have to agree with Thomas1 on anything, W Bush like any President is free to accept or reject the findings of any commission. Personally I wouldn't trust Jim Baker as far as I could throw his bourbon-fed behind.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on September 20, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

... 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.

By all means, discuss and persuade. Until Syria and Iran are persuaded, however, keep the US troops there.

Posted by: republicrat on September 20, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

In the last year or so I've begun to think that the Idiot Prince's emotional conflicts with his father have more to do with our Iraq adventure than I really want to believe. I'm not saying they were the sole factor, but an important one -- more central than even, say, LBJ's refusal to "get kicked around by some raggedy-ass fourth-rate country". If I'm right, then Baker's probably just about the last guy who can get W out of his delusions. Nope, I take the boy's earlier admissions as the truth: Iraq is a problem that his successor can fix. Shirking responsibility is the only thing the fuckwit's any good at.

Posted by: sglover on September 20, 2006 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

Personally I wouldn't trust Jim Baker as far as I could throw his bourbon-fed behind.

Cranky


With or without the use of a trebuchet?

Posted by: cyntax on September 20, 2006 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK


Iran mainly supports with the only Arabs on our side at all, the Shi'ites. What are they supposed to do to help us? Support SCIRI and Dawa even more?

As for Syria, assume that they're directly responsible for all jihadist infiltration (which isn't close to true): ok, that's maybe 5% of the insurgency. So they stop: what then?

So how are they supposed to help us? The two choices the ISG offers reduce to one. Too bad we won't do it right: we could be out of there in three weeks.

Posted by: gcochran on September 20, 2006 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

With or without the use of a trebuchet?

I would so pay to see that.

Posted by: craigie on September 20, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

I do belive that Bush will continue to follow whatever strategy he thinks is most likely to be effective. His judgment may turn out to be wrong, but I don't see him as following a Commission's recommendations unless he agrees with them.

Well, that's useful - a boss who only likes to get advice from yes men. Anyone who's ever worked in a company knows how successful that turns out to be....

Posted by: Stefan on September 20, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

W will not listen to anyone. Let him twist slowly in the wind.

Posted by: darby1936 on September 20, 2006 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

...The Iraq Study Group is likely to be as influential as the 9/11 commission, which Mr. Hamilton cochaired with a former governor of New Jersey, Thomas Keane.

Late to the party here, so forgive me if I'm being redundant. But I think the writer is saying that, in the end, like the 9/11 Commission, this group will have no discernable effect on U.S. policy and will also avoid placing the blame squarely on the administration where it belongs?

Posted by: JeffII on September 20, 2006 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

A secret commission - that Americans don't know about and/or care about. Sounds like a "how do you keep the Republicans in control" commission.

AND Bipartisan, my ass. Lee Hamilton never stuck me as a particluarly liberal individual. Baker wants to keep the oil and leave Iraq but that just ain't going to be possible. T

AND Please, talking to high-level Syria and Iran officials to persuade a very reluctant Mideastern populance to stop civilian insurgencies. Yeah right, that wheel is already long gone and that wagon will not roll ever again.

It's like saying that suddenly Bush loves the late Arfat and all Palestinian people.

I'm sorry, but this whole commisson sounds like it's build on neo-con fantasy, and those Mideasterners are going to start thowing flowers any minute now.

When is this commisson going to get to the frank and unfortunate obvious truth? That the only way around Bush and Cheney is impeachment.

Posted by: Cheryl on September 20, 2006 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Oh yeah, and this commission is going to WAIT...

Wait till after the mid-term elections - then wait till spring, are was it till the cows come home? But if Iraq isn't in full blow civil war by now, certainly it will be by then, right? This commission sounds like it was commissiong simply to keep old and aging politicians still employed at the taxpayer expense.

How many other secret commissions does Baker sit on?

Posted by: Cheryl on September 20, 2006 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

I saw Baker and Hamilton on CSPAN a couple of nights ago. It was bizarre. They held a press conference to say that: (1) they have had conversations with many important people (and the list was available); (2) they are in the process of reaching conclusions; and (3) nothing will be made public until after the elections because "some people" might accuse them of trying to affect the political process.

I can't figure out if "some people" are Rs or Ds.

B and H both said that they wanted everyone in the group to agree with the recommendations (like the 9/11 commisssion). One of the first questions from the audience was along the lines of: You say things are really bad in Iraq and that time is of the essence (which they did) and yet you want to wait until at least December to tell us what you think?

I don't see how waiting until after the election addresses the "playing politics" charge.

Posted by: HyperIon on September 20, 2006 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

And the question isn't "will Bush listen". It's can Baker talk to and influence Dick Cheney?

I don't beleive Cheney would give Baker the time of day.


Posted by: Cheryl on September 20, 2006 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

craigie and Alek Hidell say Bush makes decisions for political gain rather than for the good of the country. Yet, they would no doubt gloat that Bush's most significant decision, the invasion of Iraq, is unpopular.

There is a contradiction in their beliefs.

Posted by: ex-liberal on September 20, 2006 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

ha, ha, and yet you want to wait until at least December to tell us what you think?

Merry Christmas, Iraq is now in full blow civil war but we didn't want to run the risk of saying anything that might stop the civil war for fear of politicize the war.

This is definitely a save Republicans commission and nothing more. The old GOP Geezers Brigade - "God save King Bush." A gathering of slobbering old farts to reminisce about the grand old 9/11 times.

Posted by: Cheryl on September 20, 2006 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

I'm actually rooting for Bush on this one. The longer our troops stay in Iraq, the less likely they'll be sent to Iran.

Posted by: Jim J on September 20, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

No xl, no contradiction. Something about short-termism vs. longer horizons and wondrously delusional wishful thinking.

There is also though this stubborn (terrified?) inability to admit fault that works against his blatant opportunism.

W/o Jim Baker their would be no Cheney puppet regime but at least part of me is hoping the old guard's attempts to extract Junior from his most excellent mess fail so the Republicans fail (which way do you lean to the light on this one?) Republicans might be fit to govern again after say twenty years in the wilderness. Right now, though, I just want to see them in the position of Canada's conservatives post Mulroney.

Posted by: snicker-snack on September 20, 2006 at 8:28 PM | PERMALINK

As if. Plan one and two are DOA.

We are going to attack Iran. How hard we go in at the start, not go in literally but how much we bomb, is the only question.

That attack will roil the Muslim world and how long it takes to devolve into killing millions of them will be determined later. The important thing is to get the WWIII thing going soon. Only 2 years left for Bush. Probably only two, things change.

Posted by: rapier on September 20, 2006 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

I went over to read Baghdad Burning - and apparently Iraqi residence are leaving Baghdad by the multitudes.

Residents of Baghdad are systematically being pushed out of the city. Some families are waking up to find a Klashnikov bullet and a letter in an envelope with the words Leave your area or else. The culprits behind these attacks and threats are Sadrs followers- Mahdi Army. Its general knowledge, although no one dares say it out loud. In the last month weve had two different families staying with us in our house, after having to leave their neighborhoods due to death threats and attacks. Its not just Sunnis- its Shia, Arabs, Kurds- most of the middle-class areas are being targeted by militias.

Other areas are being overrun by armed Islamists. The Americans have absolutely no control in these areas. Or maybe they simply dont want to control the areas because when theres a clash between Sadrs militia and another militia in a residential neighborhood, they surround the area and watch things happen.

Hey, what if Iran already has a nuke? Why are the Iraq militia clearing out Baghdad? And no news of where these Iraq Refugees are going, to Turkey, to Jordan, where are they going and why doesn't the news every shows us anything in Iraq anymore but CNN give us 24/7 of Israeli-Hezbollah wa. I bet it looks really bad in Baghdad right now. This is most hidden war in history.

Posted by: Cheryl on September 20, 2006 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

George W. Bush has always relied on Republican elders to get his ass out off trouble.

The original "plan" was to find WMD, install Chalabi and use the parades to bolster W in 2004 re-election. Then the idea was to withdraw down to below 100,000 troops this fall to help with the midterms. The next "solution" will also be designed with domestic politics as the driving factor. If the Dems retake one House of Congress, the Bush administration will hope that they end spending for Iraq so they have an out. If Rebulicans are still in control of Congress nothing will happen until 2008. Depending on the politics either troops will come home that fall (assuming the Republican nominee looks strong) or Bush will do nothing in order to saddle the Democratic nominee with the mess.

Posted by: Somethings Never Change on September 20, 2006 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

Won't happen - expect the bombing of Iran within months, either by us or Israel. This will make all of this speculation so much twaddle.

Bush/Cheney are off their freaking rockers...

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 20, 2006 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

Just thought I'd check back in. Yup, Cheryl is STILL the stupidest one on this board. For 6 months running.

Posted by: cecce on September 20, 2006 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

I went over to find what John F. Burns had written recently about Iraq and found that his last article was back in June 28th. But I did find this story in the NTY about an AP Journalist jailed by US military:

U.S. Holds Photographer in Iraq

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: September 18, 2006
The United States military in Iraq has imprisoned an Associated Press photographer for five months, accusing him of being a security threat but never filing charges or permitting a public hearing.

Military officials said the photographer, Bilal Hussein, an Iraqi citizen, was being held for imperative reasons of security under United Nations resolutions. The A.P. said that its review of Mr. Husseins work found nothing to indicate inappropriate contact with insurgents, and that any evidence should be brought to the Iraqi criminal justice system.

Mr. Hussein, 35, is a native of Falluja who began work for The A.P. in September 2004. He photographed events in Falluja and Ramadi.

We want the rule of law to prevail, said Tom Curley, The A.P.s president and chief executive officer. He either needs to be charged or released. Indefinite detention is not acceptable. Weve come to the conclusion that this is unacceptable under Iraqi law, or Geneva Conventions, or any military procedure.

And back to issue at hand and one this commisson talked about:
WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 A leader of a high-level panel studying American policy toward Iraq said Tuesday that Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki must take immediate action to improve security, end sectarian killings, reduce corruption and deliver basic services if he wants to retain United States support.


Why we are not getting anything from John F. Burns and the NYT? Iraq is becoming a very dismal place of late and John F. Burns hasn't written anything for couple of months now and didn't he use to contribute about twice monthly?

Posted by: Cheryl on September 20, 2006 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

Well cecce, feel free not read any of it.

I never read anything of Ann Coulter's either because I think she a complete idiot and a cheap hype artist.

Posted by: Cheryl on September 20, 2006 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

How in the hell did we wind up with Fredo as president?

Posted by: Disputo on September 20, 2006 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

And no news of where these Iraq Refugees are going, to Turkey, to Jordan, where are they going

All the above, plus many are moving to Iraqi Kurdistan. The schools are full there.

Posted by: Disputo on September 20, 2006 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

How in the hell did we wind up with Fredo as president?

No, no, George is Sonny, Neil is Fredo (even down to the hooker habit), and Jeb is Michael. While Barbara of, course, is Don Vito.

Posted by: Stefan on September 20, 2006 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

How in the hell did we wind up with Fredo as president?

Frodo for President!

Posted by: Campaign for Frodo/Sam '08 on September 20, 2006 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

Bush Junior won't change his mind, no matter how many facts are slapped in his face. He only changes his mind when he is personally threatened.

So, the question is " What threats can Baker use to slap Bush back into the real world? "

Posted by: Fifi on September 21, 2006 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

"So: Bush should either plan to withdraw from Iraq or else open up talks with Syria and Iran."

Or, as Republicans would say:

Bush should either "cut and run" or "negotiate with terrorists".

How do you like your boy now, Bushies??

And of course, this ISG effort has been done in secret, all the while Bush and his ass-kissers have slandered and demonized anyone who has proposed these same two options.

Hypocrisy doesn't begin to describe it.

Posted by: marty on September 21, 2006 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

In my opinion, what's more important and also more difficult than getting Bush to change his mind is dealing with Cheney and his crew.

Iraq was their project from the beginning. Cheney has an amazing hold on the president, and I don't see him giving it up just because James Baker says so. Not unless Baker has the ultimate dirt. Which is possible.

Posted by: Doctor Jay on September 21, 2006 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

The poster "rmck1" is a SOCK Puppet!

"Evidence of SockPuppet Activity"

"More evidence"

Posted by: SOCK PUPPET!!! on September 21, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

W will not listen to anyone. Let him twist slowly in the wind.

Be happy to, but each turn in his twist represents another few hundred lives.

Posted by: mister pedantic on September 21, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

There has got to be a way to resolve these issues we have with Iraq.

Posted by: kevin on September 22, 2006 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

hot wet asian pussy tits xqs hot wet asian pussy tits xqs http://www.guymagazines.com/hot-wet-asian-pussy-tits.htmlxqs
free asian shaved pussy picture xqs free asian shaved pussy picture xqs http://www.guymagazines.com/free-asian-shaved-pussy-picture.htmlxqs
naked asian woman xqs naked asian woman xqs http://www.guymagazines.com/naked-asian-woman.htmlxqs
chubby asian sex xqs chubby asian sex xqs http://www.guymagazines.com/chubby-asian-sex.htmlxqs
asian transexual pussy xqs asian transexual pussy xqs http://www.guymagazines.com/asian-transexual-pussy.htmlxqs
busty asians xqs busty asians xqs http://www.guymagazines.com/busty-asians.htmlxqs
free nfl picks xqs free nfl picks xqs http://FREE-NFL-PICKS.ORGxqs
big boob asian sex xqs big boob asian sex xqs http://www.guymagazines.com/big-boob-asian-sex.htmlxqs
asian sexy teen xqs asian sexy teen xqs http://www.guymagazines.com/asian-sexy-teen.htmlxqs
asian uniform group sex xqs asian uniform group sex xqs http://www.guymagazines.com/asian-uniform-group-sex.htmlxqs
asian geisha pussy xqs asian geisha pussy xqs http://www.guymagazines.com/asian-geisha-pussy.htmlxqs
extreme asian sex xqs extreme asian sex xqs http://www.guymagazines.com/extreme-asian-sex.htmlxqs
asian fucking xqs asian fucking xqs http://www.guymagazines.com/asian-fucking.htmlxqs
best football picks xqs best football picks xqs http://BESTFOOTBALLPICKS.US xqs
asian sex vids xqs asian sex vids xqs http://www.guymagazines.com/asian-sex-vids.htmlxqs
asian women in miniskirt xqs asian women in miniskirt xqs http://www.guymagazines.com/asian-women-in-miniskirt.htmlxqs
asian sucking sex xqs asian sucking sex xqs http://www.guymagazines.com/asian-sucking-sex.htmlxqs
asian pussy and big cocks xqs asian pussy and big cocks xqs http://www.guymagazines.com/asian-pussy-and-big-cocks.htmlxqs
asian cum pussy xqs asian cum pussy xqs http://www.guymagazines.com/asian-cum-pussy.htmlxqs
asian bukkake xqs asian bukkake xqs http://www.guymagazines.com/asian-bukkake.htmlxqs
online sports betting xqs online sports betting xqs http://www.threadbomb.com/sportsbook/online-sports-betting.htmlxqs
free porn asian xqs free porn asian xqs http://www.guymagazines.com/free-porn-asian.htmlxqs
asian fetish xqs asian fetish xqs http://www.guymagazines.com/asian-fetish.htmlxqs
asian porn free vids xqs asian porn free vids xqs http://www.guymagazines.com/asian-porn-free-vids.htmlxqs

Posted by: hot wet asian pussy titsxqs on September 23, 2006 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly