Wednesday, December 06, 2006

BREAKING: Iraq Study Group Recommends One Last Try at Diplomacy, Then Withdrawal

The Baker-Hamilton Commisssion might have just thrown Washington a curveball today... They want Bush to engage with Iraq's neighbors and trying to use diplomacy to stabilize Iraq...
But if this doesn't even work, THEY'RE RECOMMENDING STRAIGHT-OUT WITHDRAWAL FROM IRAQ if this last-ditch attempt at diplomacy fails! From AP Wire:

WASHINGTON - The United States faces a "grave and deteriorating" situation after three years of war in Iraq, a high-level commission warned bluntly on Wednesday, recommending enhanced diplomacy to stabilize the country and hopefully permit the withdrawal of most combat troops by early 2008.

"There is no path that can guarantee success, but the prospects can be improved," the commission said after an eight-month review of a war that has resulted in the deaths of more than 2,900 U.S. troops and grown so unpopular at home that it helped trigger a Democratic takeover of Congress in last month's elections...

"The situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating," the commission warned after an eight-month review of a conflict that has killed more than 2,800 U.S. troops and grown increasingly unpopular at home. The report was obtained by The Associated Press.

The report warned that if the situation continues to deteriorate, there is a risk of a "slide toward chaos (that) could trigger the collapse of Iraq's government and a humanitarian catastrophe."

"Neighboring countries could intervene. ....The global standing of the United States could be diminished. Americans could become more polarized," commissioners said.

The report called for the administration to try to engage Syria and Iran in diplomacy as part of an effort to bring stability to Iraq — even though Bush has said previously he would not negotiate with either country.

Bush has consistently refused to even consider what he has mocked as "cut and run"...
But now that his family consigliere and his bipartisan friends are giving Bush this option as the only viable option for Iraq, what can he do now?

"While they won't agree with every proposal, and we probably won't agree with every proposal, it nevertheless is an opportunity to come together and to work together on this important issue," Bush said.

Yes, Mr. Bush... Please work with the incoming Democratic Congress to implement these recommendations:

1. Recognize that Iraq warrants a political solution, not a military one.

2. Engage with Iran and Syria. Whether you like it or not, Mr. President, they are Iraq's neighbors, and it will help our efforts to stabilize Iraq if all the neighboring nations are on board.

3. We can't stay in Iraq forever! The Iraqi people want the occupying forces out of their country, and the American people want a plan to bring the troops home soon. Let's engage in some serious diplomacy, and once this is finished (either with some success in stabilizing Iraq, or if it all just fails), we need to start withdrawing troops out of Iraq!

So the Baker-Hamilton Commission has finally spoken, but will Bush listen?

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