It is now clear what James Baker should have done with his Iraq Study Group: he should have recommended that Bush do the opposite of what Baker really wanted him to do. But Baker didn't. Baker didn't realize that it was opposite day--that if he wanted Bush to negotiate with Iran and Syria, he should have recommended that Bush not negotiate with Iran and Syria; that if he wanted Bush to set a timetable for reducing forces, he should have recommended that Bush set no timetable and in fact increase forces.
Impeach teh *&#@%^&! Impeach him now!
Let's turn the microphone over to Thomas Barnett:
- Bush rejects the [study group's] timetable
- Rice is trotted out to reject [the study group's call for negotiations with] Iran and Syria
- the military is poised to push the "go big" option and Bush is poised to "submit" to the generals (oh yeah!).
The only bright spot is one everyone had agreed upon earlier and which was in the works for months: more trainers.
But it is stunning when you think of the elections and what Americans said through them: Bush is basically blowing it all off...
On the "go big," I'm not pissed. I get the logic and it beats the "go small" and hope for better, but it can't be sustained and the training shift (or what I call "Vietnam backwards") won't constitute the tipping point the generals are hoping rather wishfully for. The failure of this track will be linked back to two things: 1) the failure to engage the neighbors and 2) the failure to generate the preconditions of a true exit strategy--aka, jobs (Chiarelli's swan song).