Today is the day.
Finally, after all the speculation and anticipation, this day has arrived. No, I’m not talking about the new episode of “The Biggest Loser” on NBC. Today, the Iraq Study Group’s report of the situation in Iraq is expected.
The group, also known as the Baker-Hamilton Commission, was formed in March and is supposed to give a bipartisan assessment of the conflict in Iraq, which, as we all know, is not a civil war.
Or at least that’s what we’re told.
Reports were leaked in the New York Times that the group might recommend the withdrawal of some U.S. forces in Iraq. But, according to Newsweek’s cover story, the head of the commission has said that is untrue.
James Baker III, the former secretary of state and leader of the group that bears his name, denied speculation they will say a withdrawal of troops is the solution. However, according to Newsweek, the commission most likely will recommend American forces take more of a training role so the Iraqis finally can learn how to take control of their own country.
This last week, President Bush denounced the idea of a graceful withdrawal from Iraq, saying he saw no realism in the idea. But Baker apparently sees some possibility in this.
What Bush thinks of when he hears withdrawal is all troops out of Iraq by, say, this Thursday at 9 a.m. He has refused to consider bringing troops home in phases, which has been proposed by the Democratic leadership in Congress.
Baker’s proposal, in the spirit of bipartisanism, is a bit of a hybrid between the two: troops aren’t bailing out of Iraq completely, but they won’t be on the front lines in the civil war anymore. Oops, I meant terrorist- and faith-based skirmish.
We only can hope Bush will listen to the commission. They certainly have bought him some valuable time. Anytime a reporter, lawmaker, voter or dirty liberal asks him about Iraq, he simply says he is waiting on Baker’s report.
Well, the time has come, and he can either pay heed to what the commission recommends or continue to talk of victory and getting the job done for a few more months, without giving any hint of how to fix the problem, whatever it may be.
If he decides the group’s ideas aren’t the best way forward, we will get to enjoy a few more months of speeches about the America-hating cut and runners. If Bush doesn’t like the group’s conclusions, he’ll tell us Defense Secretary nominee Bob Gates will need time to figure out what to do in Iraq.
Yay, more wasting time.
Since Baker’s recommendations are non-binding, little action will be taken in the short run. The media probably will give too much attention to this, and pundits will argue about whether the commission is proposing defeat or if they’re covering Bush’s backside.
Hopefully, their proposals are realistic, and to the liking, to some extent, of those in power.
If not, the commission will fade into oblivion, and we will return to telling ourselves that the mission was accomplished long ago.
Just ask the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln.
Owen Kennedy is a frat guy and his dad owns a dealership. Fellow fratters and DeGrassi fan club members can send their comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.