Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Accomplishments of the Iraq Study Group

The vaunted Iraq Study Group's main accomplishments to date have been to issue a series of empty platitudes, to embolden terrorists who think America is now beatable even on our own soil, and to cause to plummet the desire of the American populace to endure until a peaceful solution in Iraq is achieved.

Part two of the one-two punch has just been delivered. First, the Democrats took power in both houses of Congress, a defeat which the Republicans richly deserved. Now, just as the Republicans are staggering back up off the canvas, the Iraq Study Group weighs in.

The Iraqis didn't think much of it, nor did the Israelis or the US military. For that matter, neither did the mullahs.

"Abandon ship! Abandon ship! But not for a few more months!"

Perhaps this was not the intent of the ISG report, but liberals, both of the political and the media persuasion are latching onto the report to further their Bush hatred. The claim is essentially that Bush's policies have been all wrong and that he is at fault for the mayhem occurring in Iraq. A favorite verb in the past few days is "repudiate".

The report isn't all fodder for Bush haters. Some good has come of it, such as the mention that Saudi Arabians are deep into funding the Sunni side of the killing in Iraq.

But William Bennett had this to say about it:

Perhaps the most systemic problem with the report is it didn’t tell us how to win; it answered how to get out. The commissioners answered the wrong question, but it was the only one they wanted to answer. In all my time in Washington, I’ve never seen such smugness, arrogance or such insufferable moral superiority. Self-congratulatory. Full of itself. Horrible.

Terror leaders are jubilant in that, because of the tenor of the ISG report, they feel they have and will continue to prevail over America.

Abu Abdullah said following a withdrawal from Iraq, the U.S. will be defeated on its own soil.

"America must understand that with anti-American governments in Latin America and with Islam growing and reinforcing, including in the U.S. itself, the next step would be a total defeat on their (American) land, not a relative one like they are facing in Iraq," he said.

About the time the ISG report was prematurely made available to the American media, the war's popularity rating was at only 36%, and it's going down.


Rich Warnick said...

The Iraq Study Group Report is a realistic assessment, which is why it has come as a shock to people who are used to a steady diet of Bush administration propaganda.

More than a year ago, Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) made his own assessment based on his long experience in military affairs and inside information from the Pentagon that the generals were not allowed to talk about themselves.

Check it out:

Sample quote:

"Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency. They are united against U.S. forces and we have become a catalyst for violence. U.S. troops are the common enemy of the Sunnis, Saddamists and foreign jihadists. I believe with a U.S. troop redeployment, the Iraqi security forces will be incentivized to take control. A poll recently conducted shows that over 80% of Iraqis are strongly opposed to the presence of coalition troops, and about 45% of the Iraqi population believe attacks against American troops are justified. I believe we need to turn Iraq over to the Iraqis.
I believe before the Iraqi elections, scheduled for mid December, the Iraqi people and the emerging government must be put on notice that the United States will immediately redeploy. All of Iraq must know that Iraq is free. Free from United States occupation. I believe this will send a signal to the Sunnis to join the political process for the good of a “free” Iraq.

My plan calls:

To immediately redeploy U.S. troops consistent with the safety of U.S. forces.
To create a quick reaction force in the region.
To create an over- the- horizon presence of Marines.
To diplomatically pursue security and stability in Iraq

...Our military has done everything that has been asked of them, the U.S. can not accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. IT IS TIME TO BRING THEM HOME."

Frank Staheli said...


I generally agree with what Murtha has said, as I have alluded to in a recent post, "Iraqis must stand tall."

I don't however, think that the numbers of people who want America to leave can be trusted as accurate, for reasons I stated on

Rich Warnick said...

Frank, do you agree with Rep. Murtha that the U.S. cannot accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily? Maybe we've reached common ground.

Frank Staheli said...

In essence, yes, I agree.

Here is a link to my post I referred to earlier, which goes into more detail.

Rich Warnick said...

Frank, your previous post is well-intentioned but you need to keep up with the changes. The Bush administration no longer regards freedom and democracy as an achievable goal in Iraq. Now they define "victory" or "success" as an Iraq that can govern, sustain and defend itself.

Which is the definition of the status quo ante bellum. In other words, the Bush administration has wasted American lives and money ($350 billion and counting) and ruined our country's reputation-- to achieve nothing at all.

Perhaps I'm one of the "Bush haters" you speak of. I know I never hated any president before now.

Frank Staheli said...


I may be a bit of a Pollyanna, but I still feel like Iraq can be free. I'll have to look into Bush's recent statements about his new definition of success.

I generally define "Bush Haters" in quotes as people who don't think the issues through and just hate him anyway. Your comments suggest that your feelings for Bush are well reasoned and thought through, so I wouldn't put you in that category.

As I have mentioned before, I never voted for Bush, and I have no particularly fond feelings for him myself.

James Fletcher Baxter said...

The missing element in every human 'solution' is
an accurate definition of the creature.

The way we define 'human' determines our view of self,
others, relationships, institutions, life, and future. Many
problems in human experience are the result of false
and inaccurate definitions of humankind premised
in man-made religions and humanistic philosophies.

Human knowledge is a fraction of the whole universe.
The balance is a vast void of human ignorance. Human
reason cannot fully function in such a void; thus, the
intellect can rise no higher than the criteria by which it
perceives and measures values.

Humanism makes man his own standard of measure.
However, as with all measuring systems, a standard
must be greater than the value measured. Based on
preponderant ignorance and an egocentric carnal
nature, humanism demotes reason to the simpleton
task of excuse-making in behalf of the rule of appe-
tites, desires, feelings, emotions, and glands.

Because man, hobbled in an ego-centric predicament,
cannot invent criteria greater than himself, the humanist
lacks a predictive capability. Without instinct or trans-
cendent criteria, humanism cannot evaluate options with
foresight and vision for progression and survival. Lack-
ing foresight, man is blind to potential consequence and
is unwittingly committed to mediocrity, collectivism,
averages, and regression - and worse. Humanism is an
unworthy worship.

The void of human ignorance can easily be filled with
a functional faith while not-so-patiently awaiting the
foot-dragging growth of human knowledge and behav-
ior. Faith, initiated by the Creator and revealed and
validated in His Word, the Bible, brings a transcend-
ent standard to man the choice-maker. Other philo-
sophies and religions are man-made, humanism, and
thereby lack what only the Bible has:

1.Transcendent Criteria and
2.Fulfilled Prophetic Validation.

The vision of faith in God and His Word is survival
equipment for today and the future. Only the Creator,
who made us in His own image, is qualified to define
us accurately.

Human is earth's Choicemaker. Psalm 25:12 He is by
nature and nature's God a creature of Choice - and of
Criteria. Psalm 119:30,173 His unique and definitive
characteristic is, and of Right ought to be, the natural
foundation of his environments, institutions, and re-
spectful relations to his fellow-man. Thus, he is orien-
ted to a Freedom whose roots are in the Order of the