My first post from my home base…
My recent employment status provided me an opportunity to view the entire press conference on the release of the Iraq Study Group’s recommendations yesterday. I plan on buying the text and reading it on my flight to NYC next week, but I was extremely impressed by the whole thing and am hopeful that the recommendations will be adopted as the basis for our country’s going forward strategy. I am satisfied that this group did a better job than anybody else could have. It is now time to act on it, and given the grave situation in Iraq currently, we need to act swiftly.
What made the most sense to me (and I can’t recall who said it) was the point one of the committee members made in reference solidifying our nations support around whatever our going forward strategy will be. I couldn’t agree more. I’m not conceding that there are instances where the president must go it alone against popular support (history has proven that there are times when making an unpopular decision was the right thing to do), but in this instance this would be a poor path to choose. It will be how the president moves forward following the publication of this document that will define his historical legacy, despite what the hard left thinks. First and foremost and at this juncture I think the country needs to agree and support the policy going forward.
I also liked that the Iraqi government is being told that they MUST begin to make healing concessions or face our retraction of U.S investment. There is no doubt in my mind that the Shia dominated government is exacting legislative revenge on their former Sunni oppressors.
I like the idea that our troop commitment is no longer open ended. Given that the fact that the biggest underestimation the administration and supporters (including me) made pre-invasion was the level of hatred that exists/existed between Sunni, Shia, etc…, we cannot be facilitators of ethnic cleansing on behalf of the Shiites, or provide cover for Sunni reprisals. This will be the hardest thing to watch unfold if the Iraqi government can’t find a way to begin healing the country, but if we get to this point after having followed the Iraq Study Group’s recommendations, we can say that we gave the Iraqi’s the best opportunity we could to rebuild their nation at least from this moment on.
The diplomatic channels to Syria and Iran are the most worrisome part of the recommendation, but I will certainly concede that these folks know a crap load more about diplomatic dialog, strategy, etc.. and in the interest of bi-partisanship, I will pledge my support and trust that it’s the right thing to do.
I really feel that the go forward policy for Iraq is in the hands of the Democrats and the American people. I’ve said it and other pundits have said it, accountability for undertaking this war has cost the GOP a great deal and provided victory for Democrats this past election, but now it’s time to do something. I’ve heard talk in the blogosphere of Democrat plans to thwart enacting the study group’s policy in fear that in might work and provide the GOP some sort of success stump for the next election. I REALLY hope this is not what legislator’s are thinking. The idea of playing this game with our troops in harms way is most vile and disgusting. Nope, the time is now to act as one nation, bipartisan, and pragmatic to do the right thing and show the world what our country is made of. It’s time for the hard work to begin. Let’s dispense with the Rove like bullshit and get to work. If you want to be better than this administration, than prove it. Carrying out political revenge such as this is no different than Sadr sending militia out to randomly kill Sunni civilians, it does nothing to futher the progress of peace.
Then again, the president might completely ignore the study group’s recommendations and verify every awful thought his worst detractors have ever had about him. I sincerely hope this is not his choice.