So the Iraq commission has spoken, and things don’t look pretty. It sounds like they’ve pretty much decided that Bush’s strategy in Iraq is an abysmal failure, things are going to get worse before they get better, and a military solution probably isn’t even possible.
Despite a massive effort, stability in Iraq remains elusive and the situation is deteriorating. The ability of the United States to shape outcomes is diminishing. Time is running out.
There will be no military solution in Iraq. It will require a political solution.
Because none of the operations conducted by U.S. and Iraqi military forces are fundamentally changing the conditions encouraging the sectarian violence, U.S. forces seem to be caught in a mission that has no foreseeable end.
Now, I don’t think any of this really comes as a surprise to anyone. Bush, of course, continues to live in his own little world, and I wonder if he’s just being stubborn at this point by refusing to admit he’s been wrong all along, or if he’s really that stupid.
Either way, he made an interesting comment:
This report gives a very tough assessment of the situation in Iraq. It is a report that brings some really very interesting proposals, and we will take every proposal seriously and we will act in a timely fashion.
Now, regardless of how I feel about this whole situation, or Bush in general, I find myself wondering (not for the first time) why it seems like the entire Iraqi situation is in Bush’s hands. Why does the committee have to deliver a report to him? Why does he get to sit in his big chair and say he’ll consider what they say and then decide what to do?
Shouldn’t Congress be making that decision? The last time I checked, they were tasked with the responsibility of declaring war and managing the armed forces. Yes, yes, the President has authority under certain conditions and so forth, but I honestly don’t see how he can continue making the case that “I’m the Commander-in-Chief so what I say goes.”
We all know that Congress was a bunch of spineless yes-men for the past six years, and the Democrats often talked tough but never really stood up to the administration, but I would think (and hope) that with their majority they’d now step forward and tell Bush the way it’s really going to be. We have an independent, bipartisan commission spending months reviewing the situation in Iraq and delivering a report that says in every way possible that our policies are a failure, and even recommends possible avenues to pursue, but Bush still acts like he’s got some Secret Plan (*cough* Nixon) to turn this thing around.
When Congress reconvenes they’d better slap him around like a crying kid in a department store.
Oh, and one more item from the report:
Caring for veterans and replacing lost equipment will run into the hundreds of billions of dollars. Estimates run as high as $2 trillion for the final cost of the U.S. involvement in Iraq.
Whee. I’m so glad we’re doing this.