It is reported that the Iraq Study Group led by the highly Realistic James Baker
has unanimously agreed to a report that will call for a gradual pullback of American combat troops in Iraq but stops short of setting a firm timetable for withdrawal, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.
And this differs from the present policy how? Like this:
the Times said the Iraq Study Group will recommend that Bush make it clear that he will start the troop withdrawal "relatively soon," indicating sometime next year.
That's very clear and Realistic. No firm timetable, but a firm timetable of withdrawal by December 31st 2007. Independently of what may, realistically speaking, happen as a result.
That recommendation would be a compromise between calls from some Democrats for a timetable to withdraw U.S. forces and Bush's insistence that forces should remain until the mission to stabilize Iraq was completed.
Recommendations of the panel, which is co-chaired by former Secretary of State James Baker -- a close Bush family friend --and former Democratic congressman Lee Hamilton, will be much harder for Bush to resist than if the group were divided, experts and study group advisers say.
This is an astonishingly amoral position for something called a ‘study group’ to adopt. It is almost as if they would rather have an effect – any effect, even one that none of them agree with – than be ignored. They would rather subscribe collectively to a report that every one of them considers mistaken, than state individually what they believe to be the truth.
If the result is just a vague anti-Bush editorial that could have been written without study, at the outset, we wonder what the Iraq Study Group has been studying, and why. We hope that they have at least studied the following vital issues, and will include careful guidance on them in their final report:
- Will the report be cleared with Allies, such as Iraq, Australia and Israel, before any action is taken to implement it?
- Is there a Plan for the Aftermath of the report? In particular, have enough troops been allocated to ensure that the report's Aftermath in Iraq is completely non-violent?
- If not, will all use of force resulting from this report, by all parties in Iraq, have full UN Security Council approval?
- Will the arrangements properly safeguard Iraqi antiquities?
- And Iraqi oil installations?
- Will there be adequate arrangements for the refugees?
- Has sufficient attention been given to the effect of a US retreat on the Arab Street?
- What does the group recommend as the exit strategy from their report?