Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Over-rated (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap)

The most eagerly anticipated document since the last Harry Potter book makes its arrival today in Washington.

The long-awaited Iraq Study Group's (aka, "Jimmy" Baker's) report hits the President's desk today, and in addition to the title of this post the appropriate football cheer might be "Too Little, Too Late."

Each and every befuddled Washington politician on both sides of the aisle has yearned for this deus ex machina to show them the way out of the intractable mess that has been made of both the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the U.S. foreign policy in the world's most dangerous region.

The Bush Administration's recent moves to dampen expectations for the report should be taken as an indication that this chunk of paper is not about to swoop down and make everything all right -- whether our deluded President chooses to implement its proposals (mmmm, not likely) or ignore them (mmmm, what do you think?).

It may well be that its recommendations to make the attempt to put this into a regional context (involve Iran and Syria, get back to trying to solve the Palestinian problem, etc.) are in fact the best of a range of bad choices to try to move forward out of this tar pit. But it sure seems unlikely that this President (and Vice, remember him?) is going to take any steps which will involve even the impression that mistakes have been made and need to be corrected.

Beyond that is the even more vexing question of whether a solution even exists which involves anything but eventual disaster for our position in the region. Is there, in fact, a way out of this that will even look like a win for our side?


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