(For those who did not get it, these are creatures summoned from "the vasty deep" to work on the Iraq Study Group) pl
Cast your eye across the lists of members of the specialist panels of the Iraq Study Group. What you will see (in the main) is an assemblage of the "usual suspects" from among the Washington Middle East scholarly community thoroughly leavened with high neocons summoned from their lairs at AEI, Hudson, etc. to defend the king’s vision. There are also refugees (with book) from the failed CPA Crusade, and a couple of ancient but hopefully still compliant generals among the props.
This Study Group is headed by ten chairs and members who by and large are thoroughly partisan and predictable in their final positions. Justice O’Connor is a clear exception. A couple of them are thoroughly compromised by their prior participation in bodies like the Robb-Silberman panel which laughably found that intelligence analysts had not been "pressured" in cooking the books before the invasion of Iraq. This notion has now been exploded on a number of fronts but not before it had entered the "blood stream" of popular thought.
What is emerging from this "drill" is yet another attempt by the people of "the father" to find some vehicle that would give them at least a little bit of an audience in the White House. To that end they are arguing with the Democrats and neocons over proposed papers which actually codify the differences among the various factions involved in the study. The neocon "experts" insure that nothing too disturbing to the king’s equanimity will emerge from this process.
This will be "admired" as a thought.
There will be an option paper recommending withdrawal in some form.
This will be rejected with much chest thumping among the unscarred.
There will be an option paper recommending "staying the course."
This will be accepted as "the right thing to do."
The Democrats involved among the members and experts will have positioned their party for a share of the "credit" for what happens in the next years.
The war in Iraq will continue indefinitely no matter who wins in ’06 and ’08. There are no leaders available with enough courage to stop this. Only a collapse in the military and political situation will change that.