Relief And Anger Over New Iraq Report, What's Next?
Nothing. President Bush is awaiting two additional reports, one from his friends down at the Pentagon and one from his buddies at The Justice Department, before he is going to decide on how to access the situation.
After The President has reviewed all three assessments he will then give a televised address to tell the nation and the world on what the next step will be.
I would be very surprised to see President Bush change is mind and I expect it will take more pressure to break the levee that is his will.
Rather, I expect the reports coming out of the Pentagon and out of the Justice Department to more or less encourage the battle in Iraq to be an open ended occupation.
The Iraq Study Group was composed of mostly old timer Republicans and Democrats, none of which has expertise in any field relating to the Middle East, rather the panel consulted with the experts for their information to draw their conclusions.
The report has drawn praise, criticism, relief, anger and confusion.
A lot of criticism is coming from some conservatives and Jewish who are asking what the Israeli - Arab conflict had to do with Iraq.
Well, it doesn't really. Israel has as much to do with Iraq as Iraq had to do with 9/11 and President Bush has so long demanded that the Iraq War was part of the War on Terror and interconnected the two so intimately.
So now that we are talking about the Iraq War, we have to talk about The War On Terror, and if one is sincere about the stated intentions of The War On Terror, then one has to seriously and sincerely address the Israeli-Arab peace process. It is a view that has been been previously expressed by moderate leaders in the Middle East, Kofi Annan and Tony Blair.
Democratic Senator and Iraq War opponent John Murtha was not pleased with the report and said it "is no different than the current policy.'' in a statement and that "Staying in Iraq is not an option politically, militarily or fiscally,'' .
Republican John Mccain, who is considering a Presidential run in 2008 for the CONservative party complained "I do not agree that you can take the trainers that are necessary, much less the troops that are necessary, from the existing forces there,''
The Presidential hopeful continued "There is only one thing worse than an overstressed military, and that's a defeated military"
That's really the kind of logic that needs to be punched in the nose. It's not defeat, it's called trying to speed up the processes and try to help Iraq stand on it's own and really see if a Democracy in Iraq is actually viable.
People like Mccain need to be told that things cannot be forced into existence by the sheer will of the stubborn alone.
There was also relief across the board with many expressing the hope that President Bush would consider changes to his open ended policy in Iraq and the Middle East. There was also reportedly some anger from sects within Iraq who felt they were not represented in the report.
The report offers 79 separate recommendations and can be read in PDF form on CNN.Com.
While the report offers recommendations of change most of the suggestions are nothing new and many have been offered by Democrats in the past and criticized as "cut and run" strategy's.
It is also unlikely the ISG's report will have much of a long term impact. Soon the Pentagon and the Justice Department will release their assessments on Iraq and they are likely uphold and reinforce the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld mantra and we will be staying the course again in no time.