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.
Originally published at www.capitolhillblue ę Copyright 2006 by Capitol Hill Blue