Saturday, December 09, 2006

Well, so much for the hoping that the Baker Report would make Bush change his mind about Iraq.

An article in the WashPo sort of sets up the coming scenario. Bush is going to reject most, if not all, of the recommendations out of the Baker Commision and continue on with "stay the course", except he won't call it that, of course.

“President Bush vowed yesterday to come up with 'a new strategy' in Iraq but expressed little enthusiasm for the central ideas of a bipartisan commission that advised him to ratchet back the U.S. military commitment in Iraq and launch an aggressive new diplomatic effort in the region. . . .

"The emerging debate over the report sets a baseline for the administration's own internal review of Iraq policy, which officials hope to complete in time for Bush to give a speech to the nation before Christmas announcing his new plan for Iraq. . . .

"Yet, while the president called the Iraq Study Group's ideas 'worthy of serious study,' he seemed to dismiss the most significant ones point by point. He noted that Blair is heading to the Middle East to promote Arab-Israeli peace, but he gave no indication that he plans an aggressive new push of his own as proposed by the commission. Bush said he, too, wants to bring U.S. troops home but noted that the group qualified its 2008 goal by linking it to security on the ground.
"And he repeated his refusal to talk with Iran and Syria unless Tehran suspends its uranium-enrichment program, Damascus stops interfering in Lebanon and both drop their support for terrorist groups."

Eugene Robinson agrees, and comments how the report is a condemnation of how Bush and his cronies have run the war. And it doesn't even get into why we went there in the first place, which is a fiasco all by itself.

"It turns out that James Baker, Lee Hamilton and the other members of the group didn't have to worry about holding readers' attention. The 96-page main report -- an attempt to find a way for George W. Bush to get us out of his Iraq debacle without provoking World War III -- is full of solid reporting and analysis, with surprises along the way that make your jaw drop.


"The report is harshest on the president's "stay the course" option, pointing out that the longer we remain, the worse the situation in Iraq seems to get -- and the more American troops are maimed or killed.

"The document concludes with 79 recommendations, most of which are eminently reasonable and none of which will get us out of Iraq overnight. The president will probably reject some out of hand -- talking directly with Syria and Iran, for example. And while it would be good if the president finally realized that solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would lower the temperature throughout the Middle East, I'm pretty sure it will take more than a phone call to persuade the Israeli government to give up the Golan Heights."

George Bush has shown, over and over, he has absolutely no desire, or maybe even the ability, to do any sort of self-introspection or self-criticism. There was no real reason to believe, in spite of all the nice words of bi-partisanship and “Baker saving the Bush family bacon”, that Bush would ever really change his view of anything once it has become established. This is especially true of Iraq, which is this administration’s crown jewel, like it or not. This is the matter upon which his administration will be judged, Katrina and tax-cuts aside. And he is not about to allow himself to view the debacle in Iraq as anything other than what he originally intended. Now, what exactly that was, I am not sure anyone but George Bush knows, since we have been handed so many stories that have constantly changed when the rationale for the last story started to fall apart.

If any other person in any other situation that didn’t involve being the President of the United States exhibited the same traits that Bush has done repeatedly, that person would have been removed from their position of power, such as CEO of a major corporation, and would also probably be directed to some sort of counseling. Bush is in some serious need of a psychological intervention. With that hypothetical “any other person” not being the POTUS, then the damage that the other person might inflict would probably be minimal at the national level. Oh, his workers would most likely be out of a job in short order, and the stockholders would be SOL. But the country’s military wouldn’t be coming apart at the seams and the reputation of the United States might still be intact around the world. However, with such a person actually being in charge of this country for eight long years, the damage that will have resulted from Bush’s psychological shortcomings will be lasting.

No comments: