But what can we expect from the Iraqi Study Group besides more talk? It's a laundry list of suggestions that the president will almost entirely ignore. We'll analyze it all day and all weekend long. We'll have pundits talk it up and down.
And that's the extent of the impact it will have on reality because if five years is any indication this president simply will NEVER listen to anybody. The mission will only be complete when every last drop of Iraqi oil has been extracted from beneath a people who were cursed to be born on top of it.
In fact, the only impact this Iraqi Study Group will have is a continuing tranquilizer-effect on the American people who were once sure that they wanted us out of Iraq.
Now, with media outlets from NPR to the New York Times to CBS all giving this (cue magical music) bipartisan committee (end magical music) all the reverence generally reserved for living incarnations of God, the people have become still again.
"Ooh," everybody says, "suggestions for Iraq."
For three years, the Bush administration has purchased itself extensions from public rebuke simply by changing the semantic frame-work under which we live our lives.
For instance, when "weapons of mass destruction" can no longer work as a justification for the Iraq War, "Saddam was a threat" needs to suffice. When "mission accomplished" wears out, we admit it will be a long haul. When "stay the course" wears out, we trade it in for "changing strategies as often as the enemy."
It doesn't matter what myth the Republican corporation thinks up to keep us buying it, President Bush has never lost sight of his objectives. He wanted a war in Iraq and he got it. We've toppled Saddam and done our best to set up a democracy, and he's not satisfied. We're bleeding to death in Iraq from the hundreds of billions of dollars we're spending there in a gamble President Bush has taken with our now fragile democracy, and he doesn't care. Our government is being used as the tool Big Oil is using to extract oil from the Middle East.
You know what I would like to see? I would like President Bush simply level with us; to say, "We are in Iraq to pull out oil, okay? Okay, now that we're being honest, let's talk.
One of the questions we could raise: Is fattening the expense accounts of executives working for Big Oil worth throwing away the lives of 3000 American boys? Is it worth the billions we're losing every year?
President Bush will never change course in Iraq, and neither will the next Republican President. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi need to realize that they will get a Democratic president if they wage an all out campaign to pull troops out of Iraq.
They don't have to worry about it actually happening. For two years they can portray Bush as the prototypical Republican--out of touch with Americans. They were given a mandate to pull us out of Iraq.
For two years they can promise the people that this is what they can continue to expect if they elect a Republican for president in '08. Endless war...a president who doesn't listen to the people.
Action speaks louder than words. To everybody who thinks that this study group will have any practical effect on the quagmire: I envy your mindset.