Cheat-Seeking Missles

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Baker Offers No Magic Pill

The Baker report, as leaked by AP this a.m., gives President Bush nothing new to work with. Oh sure, some of the report recommendations are tantalizing close to the Josh Manchester's five-step "Go Native" approach that I wrote about recently, especially the calls for more troops (short term at least), more imbedding of Iraqis with US troops and viceversa, and more pressure on Baghdad to get its act together.

But on the whole, it appears the report puts too much attention on a withdrawal deadline (2008) and not enough on what would happen if we withdrew before the situation was ready for us to leave. Not that AP would leak that portion of the report, if it exists, come to think of it.

The Left, of course is unsatisfied. For them 2008 is a milestone far too far away. How could America possibly fight for its freedom in the face of Islamofascism all the way to 2008?! That certainly doesn't feel good! Here's the mis-named AmericaBlog:
Iraq Study Group thinks we're probably gonna lose, so why are they making suggestions for how to win?

I'm still a bit confused by this entire process we've set up. The patient is dead, so let's call in the best doctors so they can get together and come to a consensus as to how to keep the dead guy alive. (Any of this sounding like Terri Schiavo to anybody else?)
At Middle Earth Journal, they've also bought into the Pelosi "don't talk about victory" paradigm:
So the real conclusion of the ISG: we can't even define "victory" much less achieve it. So America's finest will continue to die in order to "mitigate defeat". What the **** does "mitigate defeat" mean when we can't define victory or achieve it even if we could.
The Left's mantra is definitely not "no pain, no gain." It's just "no pain."

Look, it's all a bunch of bally-hoo anyway. A study group ordered by Congress with no mandate. It's not even LBJ's "wise men," who at least had the president's ear. It's just another report that no matter how deep it goes, will ultimately say nothing new.

Jules Crittenden got that right. Turning his attention to the more important but more quickly forgotten story, the Gates confirmation hearings yesterday, he said:
Gates said he thinks there are no new ideas on Iraq and sounded a little downcast or exasperated about it. Technically, he's probably right. The options are on the table. Pull out fast or slow. Boost advisors. Boost troop levels light or figure out a way to boost trrop levels heavy. Talk to Iran and Syria. Figure out on what terms, with what credibility, you talk to Iran and Syria, to what end.
It all boils down to President Bush; the rest is media fodder. Despite his shortcomings, he still is the best man in Washington for understanding the importance of the battle we are fighting against Islamofascism and understands that he must take the fight to the terrorists without licking his finger to measure the wind of public opinion.

The recent turn of events -- the election, the various analyses, the change at Defense -- give him the opportunity to strengthen and improve our response. If he does, he'll have a legacy as a great president. If he doesn't, we'll live to fight another day, because us leaving Iraq with anything but our mission accomplished will lead to more fighting, worse fighting.

I'm buried in a 9 to 5 meeting-a-thon today, and am relieved that I am, since I'll be able to duck under the commentary storm that will come with the report's release. Let it pass, then let's get on with business.

hat-tip for lefty-links: memeorandum
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