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Bush loses Iraq amid "polite" back bench rebellion

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The GOP opposition to Bush is growing on two fronts. First -the Iraq Study Group (ISG), co-chaired former secretary of state, James Baker, billing itself a "bipartisan commission". The best headlines associated with the commission were Baker's comments that Iraq was a "helluava mess".

Secondly -some Republican senators have signalled that they might side with a new Democratic majority unless Bush changes course. This group wants a "decisive rethink" on Iraq. That Democrats may capture the House of Representatives is the impetus to this group which might find itself in a position to cut war funding if the administration continues to ignore the growing chorus of war critics.

So far, however, the Iraq Study Group fails to impress. Washington Post's Dana Millbank says the group has nothing to report:

If President Bush and the Iraqi government are hoping for some solutions from the congressionally commissioned Iraq Study Group, they might want to start thinking about a Plan B.

Former secretary of state James Baker and former congressman Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), the study group's co-chairmen, called a briefing yesterday to give a "progress report" on their activities. A dozen television cameras and scores of reporters filled the hall -- only to discover that Baker and Hamilton had revived Jerry Seinfeld's "show about nothing" format.

-Dana Milbank, This Just In: The Iraq Study Group Has Nothing to Report

Millbank has a point. "Helluva mess" tells us as much about Iraq as "stay the course". "Helluva mess" is, of course, the result of having no course to stay.

Indeed it would appear that the Iraq Study Group has already made Bush's biggest mistake: it cannot define success. That may be because the purpose of the group is not to make of Iraq a success but to come up with a way to save George W. Bush's ass -if not his face which is already as lost as is the war he begun upon a pack of malicious lies. Already the group has ruled out victory which Bush had clearly hoped to avoid having to define. He might have got away with that had not the lack of victory been so spectacular and spectacularly timed to neutralize any "October Surprise" that Karl Rove might have wanted to stage.

The Study Group is, therefore, a cynical, disingenuous exercise that might as well have GOP stamped all over it.

Instead, the commission is headed toward presenting President Bush with two clear policy choices that contradict his rhetoric of establishing democracy in Iraq. The more palatable of the two choices for the White House, "Stability First," argues that the military should focus on stabilizing Baghdad while the American Embassy should work toward political accommodation with insurgents. The goal of nurturing a democracy in Iraq is dropped.

-Baker's Panel Rules Out Iraq Victory

It must be pointed out, however, that achieving "stability" in Iraq can never be touted by Bush supporting GOPPERS as a "victory". Iraq, after all, was "stable" before Bush destabilized it. At best, "stabilization" achieves a tenuous status quo ante but with a tragic loss of innocent civilians lives. Among the various options, none are good. Bush lost the battle of Iraq.
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Len Hart is a Houston based film/video producer specializing in shorts and full-length documentaries. He is a former major market and network correspondent; credits include CBS, ABC-TV and UPI. He maintains the progressive blog: The (more...)

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