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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Hint From the Iraq Study Group

Going through the news and my daily reads I stumbled on a hint of the Iraq study groups thoughts, over at
Real Clear Politics.

Leon Panetta, a member of the study group wrote an article that is on RCP's main page. Within that article was this little gem:

And, finally, on the war in Iraq, despite the bitter differences, both the Democrats and the president face the same brutal reality. We need a new strategy to stabilize Iraq so that our troops can begin to come home without leaving a disaster behind. The president took an important step by replacing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with Robert Gates. The Iraq Study Group led by James Baker and Lee Hamilton, of which I am a member, will soon make its recommendations, which we hope will provide the beginning of a unified strategy. (emphasis mine)

Everyone, including President Bush has always maintained that our ultimate goal is to leave Iraq. The disagreements have always been how and when and whether we would leave them to suffer the same fate that we did with the Vietnamese, and what course would allow us to leave without leaving them destabilized.

Seems the group is facing that very same issue. But the portion of the article I bolded gives us a hint that the group will not be recommending an immediate withdrawal, because they too see the need to leave behind a "stabilized" country.

Left wing nutjobs are going to have a meltdown when they realize that they are the only ones that do not want a winning strategy. They have already decided that America can only be defeated. They have not and do not accept the option that Iraq CAN be stabilized and that the coalition CAN obtain victory.

Calling on the sage advice of seasoned wise men is an honored White House tradition. The group's key members have led distinguished careers with track records of accomplishment and good judgment.

A quick look at the study group members.

James A. Baker III, co-chair:

As secretary of state under President George H.W. Bush, Baker brought a pragmatic view and tireless diplomacy to an administration that saw the end of the Cold War and victory in the first Gulf War. By twisting arms in 12 countries in 18 days, Baker built the largest war coalition since World War II in 1990-91 to eject Iraqi troops from neighboring Kuwait. He even convinced these partners to pay nearly $50 billion to pick up the tab for the U.S.-led fight.

But Baker also led the foreign policy team that misread the underlying weakness of the Soviet Union - advising Bush to travel to Kiev, where he gave a speech urging Ukrainians not to break with the Soviet Union. That was just weeks, it turned out, before the old USSR collapsed.

Lee Hamilton, co-chair:

Former co-chair of the 9/11 Commission, Hamilton is one of the most thoughtful and respected foreign policy analysts in Washington. A decade ago, as the Democratic chairman of the International Relations Committee, Hamilton consistently counseled caution in the U.S. approach to Europe's worst security crisis since World War II: war in the Balkans.

Lawrence Eagleburger:

He succeeded Baker as secretary of state in August 1992, the month the United Nations Security Council condemned "ethnic cleansing" amid widening conflict in the former Yugoslavia.

A former U.S. ambassador to the Serbian capital of Belgrade, Eagleburger was a chief architect of U.S. policy in the Balkans.

A cornerstone of that approach was to recognize, in April 1992, Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, as independent states but to leave it largely to the European Union to try to manage the breakup in a way that avoided bloodshed.

A feckless European Union response combined with the hands-off approach from the United States allowed the worst European bloodshed since World War II to engulf the Balkans in a conflict that took more than three years to end.

William J. Perry:

As Defense Secretary in the Clinton administration, Perry reached out to former President Jimmy Carter, who helped convince former North Korean strongman Kim Il Sung to talk peace in 1994.

The result was an agreement, hammered out over the next year, which froze North Korea's supply of spent fuel rods from its nuclear reactor and permitted international inspectors to ensure they weren't reprocessed into fuel for a nuclear bomb.

North Korea, though, found a loophole, developing a secret experimental program for making fuel another way, by enriching uranium.

The most glaring mistake made in this instance was the "agreement" was made without assuring that the US could verify the results, which is why it ended up failing and North Korea continued with their nuclear activities.

Vernon Jordan, Jr.:

Senior managing director of Lazard Freres & Co., LLC, in New York, Jordan was a close adviser to President Clinton and former partner in the Washington law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, where he remains senior counsel. Jordan has also served as president of the National Urban League, Inc., and executive director of the United Negro College Fund, Inc.

Edwin Meese III:

Currently chancellor of the College of William and Mary in Virginia, O'Connor is a former U.S. Supreme Court justice. She is also on the executive board of the Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative and is a member of the American Bar Association Museum of Law board of directors.

Leon Panetta: (The one I quoted from his article above)

Currently co-director of the public policy institute he founded in his name at California State University, Panetta was chief of staff to Clinton. He was also a Democratic congressman from California and was chairman of the House Budget Committee.

Charles Robb:

Currently professor of law at George Mason University in Virginia, Robb is a former governor of Virginia and member of the U.S. Senate. A Democrat, Robb served on the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Armed Services Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee. He has also served as co-chair of the Commission on Intelligence Capabilities that Bush put together to review intelligence failings in the lead-up to the war with Iraq.

Alan Simpson:

He is partner in the law firm of Simpson, Kepler and Edwards in Cody, Wy., and consultant to the Washington public relations firm, The Tongour, Simpson, Holsclaw Group. A Republican, Simpson is a former assistant majority leader in the Senate. Simpson has also served as a visiting lecturer at Harvard University and the University of Wyoming.

Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan said the study group's report "is going to have an impact on whatever action might be possible in this Congress and in the next Congress," when Democrats take control. Levin said earlier that U.S. troops should begin coming home in phases within four to six months, a loose timetable that other Democratic leaders have not endorsed.

Democrats, meanwhile, showed they were not all in accord on how to proceed in Iraq. Although party leaders back a multifaceted approach to stabilizing the country, lawmakers have not unified on when to bring troops home without risking more chaos in Iraq.

Levin and Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, the incoming chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, predicted that many Republicans would support a resolution on a phased troop reduction now that the election is over.

Yet the Senate's top Democrat, Harry Reid of Nevada, did not seem to go as far. He said he thought the withdrawal of U.S. troops should began within a few months, but when asked if he would insist on a specific date, he said, "Absolutely not."
An although the Democratic party insists that a new strategy in Iraq be implemented, the whole reason they could not stand on any one platform during the elections, other than, "we want change", is because they do not have a clue and cannot even agree with each other on what the new "plan" should be.

Once again, other than quite a bit of lip service, we are in the same spot we were in before the elections. Iraq must be stabilized, and we are not leaving until it is.

More from Amy Proctor.
Right Truth on withdrawal.
You HAVE to check out Biga's Rants.
Everyone should read Dennis Prager's "The Smugness of the War's Oppoments".
Keith over at thinkboutstuff has a great post on the casualty levels of war. (Special wave to Keiths mom & dad)

Linkfest over at Pirate's Cove.
Conservative Cat.
Blue Star Chronicles.