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Iraq Study Group Report: Smoke, mirrors and the fog of war

By Doug Thompson
December 6, 2006

According to all that collected brain power in the Iraq Study Group, conditions in President George W. Bush’s failed Iraq war are "grave and deteriorating" and the United States must find a way to get the hell out.

This is news? Hell, the American public has known this for months. That’s why they sent the Republican-controlled Congress packing in the November midterm elections. That’s why Bush’s public approval ratings are so far into the crapper that even a master plumber couldn’t save them.

Of course the situation in Iraq is "grave and deteriorating." The country descended long ago into an uncontrollable civil war, spurred by an ill-conceived, and probably illegal, invasion of a sovereign nation by an American President who lied to Congress, to the nation and to the World about non-existent weapons of mass destruction and a fictional connection between former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

We didn’t needs months of investigation, expenditure of millions of taxpayer dollars and the hoopla of a report to tell us what we already know – Bush fucked up big time and pulled this nation into the abyss with him and his gang of corrupt thugs.

Some say the Iraq Study Group report is necessary because it will give Bush an "exit strategy," something he failed to consider when he and his warmongering Vice President launched their little war of political convenience.

But while Bush says he welcomes the report, there are no assurances he will accept any of its recommendations. He doesn’t talk of "exit strategies." In fact, the Pentagon wants him to send in more troops.

And military experts, the ones who know a hell of a lot about war than James Baker and Lee Hamilton, co-chairmen of the Iraq Study Group, say the report’s plan to pull troops back into the safe zones to reduce casualties will only open the war-ravaged country up for more of the civil strife that kills, on average, more than 100 Iraqi civilians a day and sends thousands fleeing the nation every month.

In reality, the Iraq Study Group is little more than a lot of words on a lot of pages suggesting strategies that an out-of-control President will not implement and experts say wouldn’t work if he tried.

"In the short term, we will see a drop in (U.S.) casualties (by implementing the report’s recommendation to pull back into the safe zones). But the military consequence of pulling back will be to cede the initiative to the enemy and to reduce the patrol presence that keeps enemy activity down," said Stephen Biddle of the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute. "If we were to withdraw to bases, the intensity of the civil war is going to increase dramatically."

Notice Biddle said "civil war." Bush won’t acknowledge that our invasion drove the country into civil war but the military experts admit it.

The new Democratic leadership of Congress promises hearings on the report when they convene in January, which is Washingtonese for "we’re going to study and debate the thing to death while more Americans die and Iraq plunges further into chaos."

After all their work, the Iraq Study Group couldn’t find a graceful way to get the United States out of Iraq. No exit strategy can stop the civil war. If the U.S. military can’t stop the fighting, who in their right mind can possibly believe the under trained and outmanned Iraqi security forces can handle the situation?

The report proposes no firm timetable for withdraw from Iraq, suggesting "diplomacy" might allow withdrawal of American troops by 2008 but the report attaches so many conditions to meeting even that tentative date that it is most likely unworkable. And you might as well forget about getting any help from the Democrats. They forgot about timetables when the election ended.

The report is only half-right when they say the situation in Iraq is "grave and deteriorating." What it should say is that the war is lost. We lost it a long time ago. In reality, we never had a chance to win it because you can’t win a war based on lies, deceit and political expedience.

In the end, we will have to leave Iraq as losers of another war that never needed to be fought. When we eventually leave, we will do so as a bruised, battered and humiliated nation that got the beating it deserved because of the criminal behavior of a mentally-deranged President.

25 Responses to Iraq Study Group Report: Smoke, mirrors and the fog of war

  1. David Rosenberg

    December 6, 2006 at 9:00 pm

    I haven’t finished reading the Iraq Study Group’s what we need to do in Iraq paper. What I have read so far, looks like what most have been saying, off the cuff. It’s just all neat and wrapped up, in a nice package. The same most important points are, having the Iraqi Army and Police take over security and the Iraqi Government get their act together. Everything else in the report seems to hinge on these two points being acomplished. There were no new surprises or revelations. It just seems the same things, coming from a different source. As far as I am concerned, we are still stuck on square one.

  2. John Hanks

    December 6, 2006 at 10:33 pm

    Crooks in depth. There are always more crooks waiting to take their place in line.

  3. Sharkie

    December 7, 2006 at 2:07 am

    James Baker, former “look the other way while Savings and Loans were looted” Treasurer of the United States,is the furthest thing you can get from non-partisan study of any subject. Study? It reminds me of how Las Vegas studies how to syncronize it’s traffic lights, year after year and guess what? The lights still run nilly willy. Is this another example how stupid the populace has become? The message from any republican administration on any subject…”eat shit!” What about the George McGovern, James Polk plan that clearly gets us out? Americans mostly have never heard of it, yet it is the one “plan” that absolutely makes sense. The rightward lean on the media has squashed the only workable solution that saves us from national bankruptcy and gives Bush a way out of his unwinnable war.

  4. Rice Farmer

    December 7, 2006 at 2:48 am

    The joke’s on us! The Iraq Study Group was never meant to serve any interests but those of the elites.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=CHI20061127&articleId=3987

  5. Ceredwin

    December 7, 2006 at 8:03 am

    The members of the Study Group all initially supported the war. The group was made of of people who were wrong. Why wasn’t the Study Group made up of people who opposed the war, who were right? Why follow the ideas of people who were wrong rather than those who were right in the first place? Is that supposed to convey a perverse crediblity? Good grief!!

  6. TRUTH 101

    December 7, 2006 at 1:10 pm

    Good Morning All !!

    IMO excellent posts ALL.

    This Iraq Study Group Report READS EXACTLY along the lines of what TED and DAVID ROSENBURG, along with truly “thinking people” have been saying all along. There is NOTHING new.

    What it really is IMO, IS ONE LAST CHANCE, ginned up by Daddy Bush 41 and his cronies to get George W (43) out of one more totally screwed up mess for which he is ultimately responsible, by letting Cheney and Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld run the sho, while he sits in the corner coloring in the Presidential Seal.

    Now for a revelation: He, GWB 43, will largely IGNORE or certainly attempt to everything this report says if Rumsfeld from the sidelines now, Wolfowitz at the World Bank and Cheney in the next office, tell him too.

    This IS NOT ABOUT a way forward for ANYONE. This is about a way out with and excuse for GWB and my guess is he WILL NOT TAKE IT:

  7. Sandy Price

    December 7, 2006 at 5:06 pm

    I’m afraid you are right, TRUTH and we are going to have to face a lot more deaths in Iraq. Bush is on a roll and his end game is anyone’s guess. A victory in Iraq means what? Is this only a legacy builder for Bush? Can’t he see he is failing?

  8. TRUTH 101

    December 7, 2006 at 5:36 pm

    SANDY;

    Don’t know if you noticed it but on the comments BUSH made that ran a thousand times on TV yesterday after the report was released…there was that all too familiar SMIRK on his face and you could almost read his mind (cleaned up for the family crowd) :::Those SOB’s are not going to tell me what to do or how to do it because I am the Commander in Chief:::

    IMO a clear cut case of “CAN’T SEE THE FOREST FOR THE TREES”

    I mean he said that he was going to look it over and read it through and then would think about it and make a decision in due course.

    This is the USA’s Commander in Chief, where on the very same day he said it, 11 American soldiers DIED.

    Therefore anyone with an ounce of sense can see that he doesn’t give two hoots about ANY American service man or woman. He reasons as did Rumsfeld and actually Rumsfeld said it. This is war and people die in wars. They know this.

    So, GWB is going to take his sweet time reading it and then when HE’s READY he will decide.

    This is a shame.

    I vote to send him to a little house just outside the Green Zone where he can read. You can bet he would become the deciderer a lot more quickly.

  9. Lisa Johnson

    December 7, 2006 at 5:43 pm

    One odd thing I noticed about the make-up of the ISG is the fact there were NO retired military officers on it. There are plenty of them showing up on various news shows doing expert analysis.

    Why weren’t they selected? They, more than any of those who were on the ISG, had the experience, expertise, and knowledge.

    Why were they ignored yet again?

  10. TRUTH 101

    December 7, 2006 at 6:18 pm

    LISA,

    Well, my guess is that not a single, certainly “active duty” officer would want to go anywhere NEAR a committee like this. Remember who their “BOSS” is ( the President) and and who HIS “boss” is…The VP

    These retired “military officers” as you say turning up on all the talk shows and newscasts…far too many have an axe to grind, know everything about everythiong about nothing and many others are way to loyal to the point of being able to be or make any sort of real contribution.

    I thought this would be a perfect place for POWELL as you mentioned but you can see he’d get crucified by FOX if he disagreed with their position and he probably wouldn’t want any part of it anyway to maintain his current lifestyle rthat is now BUSINESS oriented. His military days are in the past. He would prefer to remain silent IMO rather than say anything really negative so simply will not play.

  11. Peter Chewning

    December 7, 2006 at 10:11 pm

    Has anyone forgot that James Baker is the one who engineered Bush’s “Victory” in Florida, over the “evil and incompetant” Al Gore.

    Did you REALLY think that Baker and his commision were going to do ANYTHING other than bail Junior’s Ass out agian? THEY have been doing it for YEARS

  12. E

    December 7, 2006 at 11:08 pm

    The incoming Democrats have *said* that impeachment isn’t on the table, presumably in a gesture towards making progress and not appearing combative.

    But they’ve also said that they will launch investigations. And who knows where those investigations will lead?

    From a gaming perspective, if you could impeach Bush and have him resign, Cheney is next, and not much of an improvement. If you got both of them to resign, Pelosi would become President, which would be… interesting…

    I do think that would lead us to a quicker solution. It might be political suicide, however – it could look like a coup, and then the dems would be responsible for cleaning up Bush’s mess.

  13. woody

    December 8, 2006 at 7:32 am

    E, someone is going to have to clean up Bush’s mess anyhow. Might as well be Democrats since many of them went along with the Iraq invasion, PATRIOT Act, MCA 2006, etc.

    And our grandchildren will still be cleaning up this mess and paying for the tax cuts to the rich. Thanks kids!

  14. Wayne L. Wickizer

    December 8, 2006 at 12:30 pm

    That there is even a need for an Iraq Study Group is a shameful commentary on the inadequacy of the Bush presidency. It’s like the aunts, uncles, and grandparents coming to the rescue of the kid who broke all the school house windows.

    He wrecks everything he can get his hands on and then calls for “help” from his hiding place behind the desk at the oval office.

    What’s next???

  15. TRUTH 101

    December 8, 2006 at 12:51 pm

    PETER C.

    I am not so sure how much “dirt” Baker has on his hands but certainly ROVE is slimy up to the shoulders. This Florida thing was more like his “modus operandi”

    Baker was called in by BUSH 41 and YES it is a shameful commentary on the entire BUSH 43 Presidency. However, not different that it has been in his life apparently from teenager to President.

    STILL though, even after this so called commission which was exactly a way to appear wholesome but in reality was just “getting junior’s ass out of yet another sling” JUNIOR is STILL NOT PAYING ATTENTION.

    Last night I hears John Gibson or someone on his show, comment that Barak Obama did not have the “experience” to be President.

    HELLO !!! BUSH 43 did ??

    They DO compartamentalize beautifully, you have to give them that. Their main audience, the Bubbas of the world and the hard right either can’t or doesn’t simply put two and two…hell one and one together and they get away with it everytime.

    YES; IMPEACHMENT of BUSH 43 is OFF THE TABEL so we are being told. The reasons are as were stated above.

    BUSH goes you get Cheney which is exactly what you have now. BUSH AND CHENEY go and you get Pelosi which LOOKS self-serving and I do not believe she is qualified.

    How about passing a law in this country like there is in most others. EARLY ELECTIONS when our elected reps screw up and around as much as these folks have.

    BUSH IMO has violated the constitution so many times we’ve lost count and this suddenly becomes unimpeachable because of what it LOOKS LIKE ?? SAD COMMENT on the world’s greatest nation isn’t it?

  16. Will Write

    December 8, 2006 at 3:37 pm

    EXIT STRATEGY

    Our President still doesn’t understand or lacks the personal or political insight to see how wrong he is. Here, I address his position on Iraq, specifically.

    Doug writes, “Hell the American public have known that (we need an exit strategy for Iraq) for months”. More significantly, I wonder how long our military has known this? Years, no doubt. How long has Rumsfeld known this? Did they tell Bush, or did they either choose not to or were they not permitted to tell him?

    Something has changed, and even President Bush knows it. A Democratic Congress is not going to rubber stamp hundreds of billions of dollars in appropriations for no bid contracts to benefit the Republican base. I believe this is motivating for our President.

    The current report on Iraq was a great move on the part of #41 to give #43 a path out. We just have to see if he’ll be smart enough to take advantage of it. His comments to date indicate he’s going to blow this opportunity for himself, his party and his country.

    Despite several generations of euphemism (e.g., Operation Enduring Freedom?) the War in Iraq is morally, financially, politically and militarily bankrupt. It can not be won, and one can’t even conceive of what “victory” would look like after all the blood and treasure squandered in the utter destruction of Iraq — hundreds of thousands of people dead; no infrastructure left to support the survivors; a civil war raging to wipe out what’s left.

    This series of war crimes can not be won. All that can be done is to lessen the suffering of Iraq by getting out. Strategy? We didn’t have a strategy going into Iraq, so why are we so damned worried about a strategy now?

    Bring the US troops home NOW. Next Monday is not too soon. Commandeer the American and United Fleets and fly every US military man and woman home. Period. Somebody decide what equipment is worth salvaging and bring that along, otherwise, just leave crap like unarmored humvees. Let the troops bring the flak jackets that there families bought for them.

    If you think this is ridiculous, please consider: 1. It would be a stategy. 2. Somebody made a decision. 3. It would save lives. 4. Neither Iraq nor the US could be worse off for it.

    This war is lost. The only way we can lose worse than we have today is to be in Iraq tomorrow.

  17. TRUTH 101

    December 6, 2006 at 4:45 pm

    AND SO IT GOES:

    Here now we have yet another booklet from Washington which mirrors the 9/11 investigation and “study” group. The only difference is that this time BUSH, Cheney and the rest decided not to challenge it up front or try and hamstring it all along the way.

    THE REASON:

    This group was formed by BUSH 41 to try and extricate BUSH 43 from a horrible mess that he is responsible for while his VP, Wolfowitz and Rummy were going to take over the world and all the oil in the Middle East.

    But, as we all heard, “the Deciderer” as he calls himself said flat out for the press and FOX, (NOT THE PRESS BY ANY STANDARD)that HE would decide if he would accept, reject or implement any of it’s recommendations.

    …and the American people…well 28% of them anyway say….WOW is this guy a strong leader or what?

    He DA MAN. God help us all through two more years of this BS:

  18. Michael

    December 6, 2006 at 5:08 pm

    So Bush has said he will not take out our troops until we have won and the job is over. Lets see if I can say it like Bush means it. Bush will not take out troops out until he has all the control of the oil wells in Iraq. We will not win until all the company’s he sent to Iraq are done making all the money they can by this made up war. Do you really think Bush and his buddies are going to withdraw until they have made all the blood money they can Wake up and smell the oil.

  19. Wayne K Dolik

    December 6, 2006 at 5:56 pm

    Is this the best the Illuminati can do these days? Me thinks the Public should go back to running the good old USA.

    When I heard that the leaders of this “Study Group” were famous election fixers and had presided over the infamous 911 reports I did not expect much. Actually I thought they would try to figure a way to keep crude oil at high prices and keep Weapons Manufactures at full employment!

  20. Susan

    December 6, 2006 at 6:34 pm

    if you keep stuffing the turkey sonner or later it is going to shit all over you.

  21. Susan

    December 6, 2006 at 6:36 pm

    “sooner” sorry I was ANGRY!

  22. Gerald Sutliff

    December 6, 2006 at 6:56 pm

    The first and necessary step to getting out of Iraq and getting others to engage there would be for GWB to admit he screwed up royally and then to eat humble pie garnished with crow feathers. That will be the day when Hell freezes over.
    Actually the only way out is to remove GWB and his Vice from office.
    God help us.

  23. TRUTH 101

    December 6, 2006 at 7:20 pm

    Well, our new and soon to be Speaker of the House says that IMPEACHMENT of George W. Bush, regardless of what he’s done is “OFF THE TABLE”.

    It appears they do not want to make it look like a tit for tat event of roughly the same thing the Republicans did to Clinton.

    Problem there is that BUSH has and continues to violate American’s rights granted by the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

    Johnathan Turley, noted law professor notes over thirty violations so far and that was weeks ago. The NSA Spying program is ILLEGAL, This keeping secret records at DHS on ALL Americans who fly, anywhere without access or challenge ability is ALSO in violation of any free society.

    These programs are simply designed to
    1. Boost the employment figures
    2. The jobs usually goo to more “friends” than qualified people
    3.The program like everything else in DHS will be badly managed.

    Yet, the courts are silent, the people are silent…well that is until you are confronted by some moron at an airport that tells you you can’t fly home again because of a meal you ordered on a flight 6 months prior that according to their profile, you can’t see fits the mold that you might be a terrorist. So at best you are delayed, perhaps denied and told to take a bus.

    What has this country come to anyway ???

  24. South Point Man

    December 6, 2006 at 7:22 pm

    Now that Iraq has become a radioactive hellhole, what semi-demi sane person would even want to be there, even for a moment?

    Golly, I wonder how Iraq became a radioactive hellhole…? It didn’t USED to be dangerously radioactive…

  25. Ted

    December 6, 2006 at 8:52 pm

    A competent, President, Vice-President and crew would have carried out the proposals of this group BEFORE engaging in a premeditated war of aggression. Now it is just BS, MS and Phd.: Bullshirt, Moreshirt and Piled Higher and Deeper. Too little, too late, too bad!

    Latin: De = other
    Cide = to murder
    Decider = One who murders the other.