With everyone running in circles, leaping for joy and clapping their hands over the fact that Jim Baker's boys have concluded what many of us knew before the war started, that you can't win in Iraq, it might be good to consider:
Any reading of history will tell you that this was the obvious outcome.
And if you had asked any Iraqi at the time (as many did), you would have discovered that yes, they wanted Saddam out, but they wanted us out just as fast.
The overwhelming sentiment in Iraq in the days before the U.S. invasion was that things would be fine if the U.S. would leave things to the Iraqis and go home quickly. Under ordinary circumstances you would expect the U.S. government to know things like that. It is the ultimate irony that the group led by James Baker, which represents the worst in American foreign policy in the 1980s (see: Iran-Contra, etc) would be the ones to bring a sliver of reality to the attention of the Bush White House.
All of those months of study, the thousands of hours of testimony and deliberations will be for nothing. That's because nothing but the total withdrawal of all American troops from Iraq will solve the problems Bush unleashed when he made all the wrong decisions.
He broke it. He can't fix it. America can't fix it. We've proven that. The Iraqis don't want the U.S. to fix it. And if we don't like the manner in which they will fix it themselves, that's our problem, not theirs. They have enough problems. Our leaving will solve one of them. How they solve the other problems is their sovereign choice, not ours. The U.S. doesn't care how the Sudanese are fixing their problems. Or how the Rwandans did.
Blog on folks. Let the hours of punditry reign for a couple of news cycles. It won't matter. Nothing will change until there isn't a single American, military or mercenary, left in Iraq.
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