The Iraq Study Group:
1)Chairmen: James Baker, former Secretary of State, Republican; Lee Hamiliton, former member of the House of Representatives, Democrat
2)Republican Members: Sandra Day O'Connor, former Supreme Court justice; Lawrence Eagleburger, former secretary of state; Edwin Meese, former U.S. attorney general; Alan Simpson, former Wyoming senator.
3)Democrats: Vernon Jordan Jr., business executive; Leon Panetta, former White House chief of staff; William Perry, former defense secretary; Charles Robb, former Virginia senator and governor.
Well, we are finally to this: The Iraq Study Group(I-S-G) or as I like to call it, War by Committee.
These men and a lady are supposed to give us a new roadmap, strategy, or suggestions about what to do with Iraq before the end of the year. Let's hope they agree on something.
I might have thought in the past, that this was the dumbest thing that I've ever heard. However, as I look at Iraq, there is "Nothing that doesn't need a fix." NOTHING!
We are close to civil war, if not there already. I challenge anyone to suggest an area where things are positive (other than the courage and spirit of our soldiers doing their job). Corruption of the Iraqi Army and police, operation of militias, kidnappings, the sectarian violence(hangings, decapitations, suicide bombings), etc. Consequently, War By Committee, may lead to fresh ideas.
What we can't do is dwell on how we got to Iraq. Maybe after the war is over, but not now. We have to come up with an exit strategy. Thus far, all it has been is "hoping things will work out OK."
Getting rid of Rumsfeld is a start. I must admit I feel a little sorry for the guy, but it was time to pass the torch.
This whole Iraq quagmire is a little like a drama. If it wasn't so tragic, it could be a novel. What you have are guys like Rumsfeld, Cheney, Pearle, Wolfowitz, convinced by the charlatan, Ahmad Chalabi(an Iraqi who had been gone from Iraq for thirty years) that Saddam definitely had weapons of mass destruction. Iraq then became a passion.
Chalabi said people would welcome us as liberators, a democractic society would bring peace to the Middle East, etc. Chalabi's organization, the Iraqi National Congress, was given 15 million dollars to prepare to run Iraq; when, in fact, Chalabi hardly had an organization. Chalabi's arguments for war in Iraq was the catalyst for the invasion-a colossal liar at worst or a smart manipulator at best. But, honestly, it is amazing; this was not some conspiracy theory, but how they sold it to the President.
There is lots more to this historical miscalculation. Chalabi convinced the smart guys: Rumsfeld, Cheney, and the true believer, Wolfowitz; and, then, the "smart guys" sold Chalabi's words to the Prez which gave Bush the fuel to do what he wanted to do anyway. And, in the process, the reputations of Colin Powell, Condi Rice, the CIA, and all kinds of other lessor players were forever tainted.
The enormous significance of "War By Committee" and doing something new and plotting an exit strategy NOW is that we need to do something about the young Americans who continue to die daily because of the "broken nature of Iraq" over which we have no control.
So let's give "War By Committee," a shot and use the motto of "Good" magazine, "America, love it or fix it."
For More Info:
USA Today: A Closer Look at the Iraq Group
New York Times Magazine: Where Plan A Left Ahmad Chalabi