November 27, 2006

Tom Engelhardt asks Will Papa Bush's Old Pals Prolong the Iraq Occupation?:
Someday, when the full story is in, we're bound to be riveted. After all, Baker has managed in these months to gather in the wings something like an alternative State Department/National Security Council/CIA-in-waiting in the shell of the Iraq Study Group, which is filled with old movers and shakers going back to the Reagan administration. (He's even begun to conduct something akin to his own foreign policy, meeting with the Syrian foreign minister and Iran's ambassador to the UN, both no-nos for this administration.) The ten key ISG members, in fact, are largely not military strategists or geopolitical thinkers of a sort who might be expected to offer Iraq solutions. They are instead a who's who of establishmentarianism, extending back to the Reagan era.

Is this a major shift in Washington? You bet. How big remains to be seen. But here's the real question: Can the new crowd -- even if the President bows down to Daddy's Boys, which is hardly a given -- get us out of Iraq? Do they even want to? ...

Of course, as we learned in Vietnam, even the most permanent facilities can turn out to be impermanent indeed and even the best defended imperial embassy can, in the end, prove little more than a handy spot for planning an evacuation. But if the Iraq Study Group doesn't directly confront these facts-on-the-ground (as it surely won't), whatever acceptable compromises it may forge in Washington between an embedded administration and a new Congress, things will only go from truly bad to distinctly worse in Iraq.


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