American politics is like a beach ball. It's full of air, good for games but not for serious work - and hollow at the center. Once again the media and the so-called 'centrists' are unable to distinguish between 'nonpartisanship' - the input of experts who are unbiased by partisan ambitions - and 'bipartisanship,' the self-serving product of careerists from both parties who put self-interest over the nation's interest.
The real purpose of the Iraq Study Group was to preserve the "bipartisan" consensus for continued war, or at least avoiding withdrawal discussions that embarrass the "center," at a time when 60% of Americans want withdrawal within six months (and 71% want it within two years). It defers the tough decisions by suggesting some training and other goals for 2007.
But what does one of the Study Group's most qualified, truly non-partisan experts think about these goals?
"Based on where we are now," says former Army chief of staff Jack Keane, "we can't get there from here." In other words the rationale for keeping troops in for another year is phony, according to the Study Group's own expert. Then why is it there? For one simple reason: to delay any discussions that threaten the "centrist" consensus.
This is a face-saving plan for the Republicans whose party led us into this quaqmire, and for the "moderate" Democrats who let it happen. End this ongoing nightmare? Sorry. With this crowd, we can't get there from here.
It's a phony solution, a hollow plan from hollow people in the hollow center.
It's no surprise. How could a "bipartisan" coalition of Republicans and right-leaning Democrats, all of whom were dead wrong about this war, fix the problem they created? Where are the truly nonpartisan experts who were right all along - from the military, from academia, from the intelligence community? They've spent the last three years being stigmatized in the press by the Republicans - while the "bipartisan" Democrats either cowered in fear, looked the other way, or joined in the attacks. Now, when the country needed them, they were all shut out of this process by the "centrists."
This sham of a report, as General Keane so aptly says, demonstrates more about "the absence of political will in Washington than the harsh realities in Iraq."
Soldiers will keep dying throughout 2007. So will Iraqi civilians. Why? To protect James Baker's party, while advancing the career of Democratic insiders like Lee Hamilton. That's the same unholy (but bipartisan) alliance that gave birth to this war in the first place.
John Kerry once asked how you can ask someone to be the last person to die for a mistake. This is worse. Baker, Hamilton, and their collaborators are asking thousands of Americans - and many more Iraqis - to be maimed and killed just to protect the careers of all these "bipartisan" politicians. Our heroes are being maimed and killed to preserve the political hegemony of the Republican/Democratic "center."
Come to thnk of it, this kind of bipartisanship isn't like a beach ball at all. It's more like a hollowpoint bullet - empty on the inside and deadly.