Monday, October 16, 2006

Baker Commission rules out victory in Iraq

The Presidential Commission into Iraq run by George Bush SR's Secretary of State James Baker has concluded that victory is no longer an option and the only decision left is stabilization or withdrawal:

Currently, the 10-member commission headed by a secretary of state for President George H.W. Bush, James Baker is considering two option papers, "Stability First" and "Redeploy and Contain," both of which rule out any prospect of making Iraq a stable democracy in the near term.

More telling, however, is the ruling out of two options last month. One advocated minor fixes to the current war plan but kept intact the long-term vision of democracy in Iraq with regular elections. The second proposed that coalition forces focus their attacks only on Al Qaeda and not the wider insurgency.

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.

Once again of course these conclusions, leaks aside, won't officially be made public until after the mid-terms. How many lives will be lost before it's politically possible to accept defeat?

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