Sunday, December 10, 2006 - Herald Columnists: Leadership defined, Bush stays course - Herald Columnists: Leadership defined, Bush stays course: "the good news this week is not the ISG’s call for the measured abandonment of Iraq. It is, counterintuitively, that George Bush - sorely battered by midterm elections and the results of Donald Rumsfeld’s bankrupt Occupation-Lite strategy - is showing signs he remembers that he’s still the president.

Bush signaled late last week that, while he is awaiting the advice that truly matters, that of his military commanders, he is not inclined to engage in the drawdown of troops that the ISG advocates. He is not ready to abandon Iraq."

It was interesting watching some of the members of the ISG on TV, though, today. They seemed to be insisting that the ISG report doesn't require withdrawal, but instead says withdrawal should happen when, and if, the Iraqis are able to defend themselves... and in any case, they foresee leaving 70,000 troops in country for a long time.

Which seems to come down to "Bush should do what he's already been doing."

I've begun to think that the whole ISG report is so inconclusive that it can be cherry-picked to suit anyone's opinion.


terrye said...

That is exactly right. In fact I think that people are over reacting to the silly thing myself. There is nothing new there.

chuck said...

Well, it was *bipartisan*, one might even say multipartisan, like a good vitamin. Because it's a political document, I also expect there are plenty of outs and backdoors so no one ends up taking much blame. But the document does serve a purpose: the various issues and choices are out where they can be seen and are actually being talked about. That is a notable improvement over the McChimplerHitlerBurton level of discussion up to now.

Charlie Martin said...

Fair point, Chuck. I worry, though, that the legacy media is pushing the "extremely critical" story for a report that isn't, and the hair-on-fire ninnies on the conservative side aren't defending.

Barry Dauphin said...

Also from what I've read Rumsfeld really wanted out of Iraq very early. Knock off Saddam, hand over the keys and go home. However, The Powell Pottery Barn message carried some sway. I wonder if we ended up with a compromise strategy, part Rumsfeld, part Powell. I do think Rumsfeld gamely took the heat, even though he was less of an architect than many critics think. We will have to wait many years before a careful history can be written.