Wednesday, November 22, 2006
The Iraq Study Group, Understudy of Studies
Such a tedious nomenclature, the Iraq study group. Their printers will probably use scented ink, State Department fume (foo-may) Typewriter Ribbon, 1973. I'd rather they were a Studies and Observation Group, or Ornithological Specialists or had a new theory about the brontosaurus. I'd sleep easier. Thank God and and praise William Tecumseh Sherman the Pentagon is putting in their good sense, too.
The Pentagon is drafting its own new options for winning in Iraq, in part, to give President Bush counterproposals to fall back on in case the Iraq Study Group comes up with ideas he does not like, defense officials say.
Meanwhile, study group co-chairman Lee H. Hamilton, a former Democratic representative from Indiana, told The Washington Times yesterday that he and co-chairman James A. Baker III, secretary of state in the first Bush administration, have nearly completed a first draft report.
Mr. Hamilton said the two men hope to complete it this weekend, give it to the eight other Iraq Study Group members in time for a meeting next week to review it. The report contains Mr. Hamilton's and Mr. Baker's assessment of the Iraq situation and recommendations to Mr. Bush.
The 10 members will then accept, reject or modify the ideas, and Mr. Hamilton cautioned that the panel has no deadline to produce a final report.
"The whole thing could be changed," Mr. Hamilton said. "We do feel like we should move ahead with due diligence."
Mr. Hamilton declined to discuss the options. Mr. Baker has said publicly he believes in talking to one's enemies, an indication that the study group will recommend opening dialogues with Syria and Iran, two U.S. adversaries that border Iraq and support the insurgents.
"Mr. Baker has said publicly he believes in talking to one's enemies"
" Mr. Hamilton said the group has heard from more than 250 people, both in and out of government.
"We are inundated with recommendations at this point," he said. "I literally can't go anywhere without people making recommendations to me. But that's good."
Did he talk to the Ricola cougher? The mystery shopper? The "has that thing got a Hemi?" guys? Frank Bartles and you know Ed? The unknown Norwegian? Wayne Bettis' mother? And these anywheres he goes to? Does he breakfast at the IHOP? Lunch at Wendy's? Dinner at The Olive Garden ? Has he spoken with busboys, brewers, cattlemen, or violists? Did he think about putting on the cloak of Sir Thomas Erpingham? Donning a priest's collar and walkng about Rome, like Carol? Talk with anyone not wearing a suit? Talk at all with any "We the People"?
Did he ask himself what would Patton do? Sherman? Chamberlain at the Round Top? The Tin Can Sailors at the Leyte Gulf? The Damned Engineers at the Bulge in 1944? The Marines in The Hill Fights, prior to Khe Sahn? Men without socks, bloody footed in Pannsylvania snows? The NYPD and the NYFD?
It was busboys, brewers, cattlemen and violists, housewives, homemakers, sisters, and mothers, men and women in uniform, shirtsleeves, sweaters, and overalls, US brass-buttoned wools, powdered wigs, coonskin hats, buckskins, and breeches bought us our history. They didn't talk with our enemies.
Posted by Kerry at 6:58 PM