Friday, December 08, 2006

Tim Lee (via Jim Henley) doesn't see much new in the vaunted Iraq Study Group report:

The line has always been that we’ll withdraw our troops when the Iraqi troops are ready, and we’ve always been told that that will take a year or two. So while it’s good to see a “bipartisan” panel admitting that the strategy to date has been a disaster, I don’t see how the ISG has recommended anything other than more of the same.

But someone perceives a difference:

Mr. Bush, making his first extended comments on the study, seemed to push back against two of its most fundamental recommendations: pulling back American combat brigades from Iraq over the next 15 months, and engaging in direct talks with Iran and Syria. He said he needed to be “flexible and realistic” in making decisions about troop movements, and he set conditions for talks with Iran and Syria that neither country was likely to accept.

He still wants not just a stable state in Iraq, but a truly democratic government. And not just a truly democratic government, but a government that will simultaneously be truly democratic, and as subservient to his own whims as, say, Tony Blair's.

But he did promise, two days ago, that "we will act on [the report] in a timely fashion".

What does that mean, in the light of his more recent remarks? Like two days ago, I envision him in the oval office, tripping over every third word in Shakespeare's St. Crispin's day speech while standing on a copy of the report.


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