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December 06, 2006 09:23 PM UTC

Baker Report on Iraq Released

  • by: Colorado Pols

Yeah, this isn’t about Colorado politics per se, but nothing else is going on (except for Bill Ritter’s inauguration announcement, but apparently that’s not very interesting).


President Bush’s policy in Iraq “is not working,” a high-level commission said bluntly on Wednesday, prodding the administration to embrace diplomacy to stabilize the country and allow withdrawal of most U.S. combat troops by early 2008.

After four years of war and the deaths of more than 2,900 U.S. troops, the situation is “grave and deteriorating,” and the United States’ ability “to influence events within Iraq is diminishing,” the commission warned in an unsparing report.

Among some of the changes the commission called for:

  • Embed more U.S. forces with Iraqi units.
  • Renew the push to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict through a “diplomatic offensive.”
  • Involve Syria and Iran in negotiations over Iraq’s future.
  • Comments

    28 thoughts on “Baker Report on Iraq Released

      1. The Dems control the purse strings now.  They control the agenda.  They control the momentum.  Bush has the opportunity to salvage a legacy or be remembered by historians as a two term loser.  You don’t think that doesn’t weigh heavily on his mind? 

        1. when I wonder if *anything* weighs in on Bush’s mind.

          The Dems will have to be very careful if they decide to trim the purse strings in Iraq; how do you support the troops but force Bush to withdraw them in a controlled and intelligent manner?

          1. Flatulence forces plane to land Wed Dec 6, 4:12 PM ET

            NASHVILLE, Tenn. – An American Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing Monday morning after a passenger lit a match to disguise the scent of flatulence, authorities said.


            The Dallas-bound flight was diverted to Nashville after several passengers reported smelling burning sulfur from the matches, said Lynne Lowrance, spokeswoman for the Nashville International Airport Authority. All 99 passengers and five crew members were taken off and screened while the plane was searched and luggage was screened.

            The  FBI questioned a passenger who admitted she struck the matches in an attempt to conceal a “body odor,” Lowrance said. She had an unspecified medical condition, authorities said.

            “It’s humorous in a way but you feel sorry for the individual, as well,” she said. “It’s unusual that someone would go to those measures to cover it up.”

            The flight took off again, but the woman was not allowed back on the plane. The woman, who was not identified, was not charged in the incident.

    1. If the situation is grave then why did they wait until the elections were over? It seems that this panel is not serving us well-what part of grave is not understood?

      1. as in, Americans dying and being buried in graves.  Matthew Yglesias says it better than I can in talking about the Gates hearings:

        Still, Gates seems to be part of the “mainstream” elite consensus which holds that Iraq is almost certainly doomed, but that we should sort of keep on prosecuting the war for years and years just because it would be embarrassing to give up and, hell, who knows maybe a pony will come along. That sort of thing works, I think, if and only if you regard the war as a total abstraction, rather than actual events happening to actual people.

    2. why the report wasn’t released until after they had time to publish it in book form? Since we are talking about a life and death situation, wouldn’t it have been much more preferable, at the risk of not immediately allowing people to read it in book form, to get the report out as quickly as possible?

      1. Releasing everything all at one time creates greater public and media attention.  This is important because then more people might know about the report and its recommendations and thus be apt to support them.  It could have been a calculated risk to release the report after the midterm elections, betting that an administration that was “thumped” might be more willing to listen.  Rumors are just rumors, but I read somewhere ( I forget where) that Jim Baker quietly pushed for Rummys ouster because he didn’t want him ” stomping all over the report” as well.  I don’t know, or pretend to know, what happened but I know Jim Baker is one pretty smart dude.

        1. it was to dilute their impact.  So that Bush would not be yet again criticized as apart from reality, and so other Republicans would not be forced to go on record as supporting the ISG’s assessment that current policy has failed.  It’s Bush family friend and “Florida fixer” James Baker who ran this, for Pete’s sake, and there were complaints when Baker decided earlier this year to delay the publication until after November.

          See also: the firing of Donald Rumsfeld, timing of.

          1. See your point, ie, lets not admit the failure is a failure until after the election.  I do still think a lot of Bush Sr. people hate Rummy though.  I don’t blame them.

          2. Say what you will about Baker, but his skills are about the only thing standing between a way out and failure.

            The report’s findings are nothing new – they provide political cover for the President and additional material for the Democrats.  Let’s hope both take advantage of the situation, get off their asses, demand the Iraqis stand up for their country and get our soldiers home so that the US can deal with the tertiary effects of the war with some semblance of sanity.

            1. As much as I hate–yes, that’s the word–GWB for what he’s done to our country, I am not vindictive about the Iraq War.  It’s too serious.  Whichever party or leader finds a way out of this will earn my gratitude.

              I really hope Bush uses the Baker ISG report as cover to finally change his policy.  But given that he’s already stated that it’s just one piece of information he’s going to consider, I am not optimistic.

        1. I keep having an image in my head of a sargent asking for volunteers.  No one moves forward, but the R’s step backward. 

          “I had other priorities.”  Dick Cheney.

    3. The Democrats will hide behind this report.
      This report is the status quo glossed over. Democrats need to stand up against this insane war not try to parse words and buy into another slick sales job by George Bush and Karl Rove.
      Wait and see all of our good Democrats especially those from Colorado will fall all over themselves embracing this report which says nothing and will do nothing but give political cover to George Bush
      Bringing our troops home now is the only sane policy.

    4. If the leader of a nation takes that country to war, unprovoked and under false pretenses, failing to accomplish even the shifting mission (WMDs, democracy, etc), killing thousands of Americans, wounding tens of thousands of more,  and causing the deaths of a hundred thousand civilians, plunging that nation into Civil War, should that leader be held accountable?

      Iraqis should ‘defend themselves’ but lets be aware of the culpability for the mess we, and Iraq, are in.  Bush primarily, but also his sycophants, many who knew better but who refused to do what was right, speak truth to power, and went along with the ‘we will be greeted as liberators’ myth.

      A leader who does these things has committed many crimes–against his own people and against the world.  We should get out of Iraq, but as responsible adults we should admit (as a nation) that WE started this debacle that led to this mess.  IMPEACH.

      1. Are the career military folks.

        It should have started when Bush said, “Irag, go get Saddam!”  They, at the highest level, should have said, “Pardon me, Mr. President, with all due respect you are effin’ nuts.”  But war is what they have lived for, and promotions are slim in times of peace.

        This, this disaster, is because our country has ignored the advice and fears of Washington, Jefferson, and Madison about standing armies.  Like the scorpion that can’t help but sting, they HAVE to flex their muscles from time to time. 

        If these generals were in the business world, they would have been canned about 2004.  They are not being held responsible.  The few who have spoken out, for instance, saying that 140,000 won’t cut it were summarily retired.

        We have also seen a shift from holding those at the upper echelons responsible (Nuremburg) to the lowest Lindy England’s, et al.  The brass wears teflon and the little guy/girl winds up on CNN. 

        I know that the military and the men and women in it are held sacred by most. The enlisted have become the scapegoats and the officers get away with, literally, murder. 

        1. Sorry Pal, one of the most important constitutional principles is civilivan control of the military. What the generals said behind closed doors remains behind closed doors. Once policy has been announced by the President, it is their job to do or resign. You may argue that they should have resigned their commissions; but, not that they should have publicly opposed the President..

          The whole war crimes issues is troublesome. I believe that this was an immoral and illegal war because there was no justification for a preemptive strike. That could make us all liable under international law.

    5. Well, what did you expect?

      He called the report “very constructive” and “worthy of study,” but said that neither Congress nor the administration would accept all of the panel’s proposals. His policy going forward, Mr. Bushr eiterated, would rely not just on the study group’s recommendations but on those being formulated by the Pentagon, the State Department and the National Security Council.

      In blunter terms, our President is looking for a more friendly opinion from the very same people who helped him screw up Iraq in the first place and who have been steadfast in supporting his failed strategy.

      1. Remember, James Baker is daddy’s friend, and Jeb’s, not George W’s.  Baker was even called upon as a family friend to help steer young George Jr. into constructive pursuits after college, instead of just drinking and snorting coke.

        Most Administration officials have nothing but kind words for James Baker, a relative elder statesman compared to Bush’s crew.  But not George himself:

        But this president may not be in much of a hurry to accept Baker’s ideas about that — or much else. Asked if Baker would help implement the report, a spokesman for Mr. Bush said, “Jim Baker can go back to his day job.

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