Blue-ribbon panels are easy to mock, but some actually do perform a valuable service. The base-closing commissions, for example, were able to close down military installations that weren't needed but that Congress couldn't pull the plug on.
... And then there is the Iraq Study Group. The money spent on its deliberations should have been redirected to some worthier purpose, such as figuring out once and for all how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Its much-vaunted report was an anticlimactic combination of banalities and stay-the-course recommendations leavened with generous dollops of wishful thinking.
... Its flagship recommendation has been described as calling for the departure of U.S. combat troops within a year, but it says nothing of the sort. Here is the key sentence: "By the first quarter of 2008, subject to unexpected developments in the security situation on the ground, all combat brigades not necessary for force protection could be out of Iraq."
Note the weasel words I've italicized. Without those caveats, this would have been a Murtha-esque call for withdrawal. With all those caveats, this is the policy Bush is already following: "As Iraqis stand up, we will stand down."
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Unknown | Wednesday, December 13, 2006 |