Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Why the Iraq Study Group Report Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be

After a week or two of speculation, the Iraq Study Group issued its report today. This bipartisan group doled out condemnation for how the Bush Administration handled the war in Iraq and offered suggestions on how they could be better. Both sides jumped at the report, taking out pieces that support their respective positions. But I have one question.

If these guys are so smart, how come they couldn't come up with a better name than "The Iraq Study Group"? It sounds more like an eighth grade after school tutoring program than a Middle East think tank.

Seriously, I have my doubts as to the suggestions offered by the Iraq Study Group, mainly because I don't any "blue ribbon panels" made up of former Washington figures to be all that credible. Whenever you see or hear about a bipartisan committee put together by Congress or some other entity, remember this: former Washington figures are political animals first, bipartisan second, if at all. After hearing some of the preliminary chatter about the Iraq Study Group's report, it sounds like Democrats and Republicans have enough meat to chew on and proclaim victory.

Of course that doesn't help us get out of Iraq any sooner, but that's not really the point. "Blue ribbon commissions" like this aren't out there to solve problems that need to be addressed; they're out there to cover the butts of their respective parties and make pointed statements about the failures of the other side.

Need proof? Does the 9/11 Commission ring a bell? After all the hype and hollering, they produced a report that was so partisan and, dare I say it, so out of date that it was useless. And we paid for that, folks!

I don't know for certain if we paid for the sheer anti-brilliance of the Iraq Study Group, but one thing is for certain. Their report isn't worth jack Personally, it seems to me that they assumed we failed in Iraq was a fait accompli (which is French for either " a done deal" or "We surrender!"). I don't buy that idea because I happen to think we've not only won in Iraq, but we continue to make strides to improve conditions over there. Is it a slow process that has seen its fair share of mistakes? Absolutely. No post-war plan to date has been perfect. But some, namely the anti-war side, seem to think that anything less than perfection is proof that the war in Iraq has been a failure.

I can think of some purple-digited Iraqi voters who would disagree with that assessment. You want proof that we've accomplished something in Iraq, there you have it. Voting is something we take for granted year after year (just ask the Congressional Republicans), but Iraq couldn't do that for years. We changed that, and it has been a boon to the country.

Try telling me that's a sign of failure, Iraq Study Group.

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