World: ISG report, ISG = incomplete-silly-garbage

The ISG (Iraq study group) report was awaited with much anticipation. However, it is not going over well as people are seeing it for what it is: useless.

Excerpts:
"There's only one thing worse than an over-stressed Army and Marine Corps, and that's a defeated Army and Marine Corps," said McCain, a Vietnam veteran who will become the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee when the Democrats take control of both houses of Congress in January.

"I believe this is a recipe that will lead to our defeat sooner or later in Iraq," McCain added.
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Their skepticism focused mainly on two of the recommendations: a diplomatic approach to Iran and Syria, and an acceleration of the U.S. military's work to train and advise Iraqi forces.
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Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, both said they are skeptical about another of the commission's key recommendations: that the administration approach Iran in search of help in stabilizing Iraq, as part of a regional diplomatic initiative.

"I'm skeptical that it's realistic to think that Iran wants to help the United States succeed in Iraq," Lieberman said.
Dean Barnett doesn't think much of the reports. Except:
For a real indication of this report’s terminal lack of seriousness, check out the Group’s blithe ignorance regarding Iran’s malevolent intentions. “It is clear to the Iraq Study Group members that all of Iraq’s neighbors are anxious about the situation in Iraq,” opines the commission. “They favor a unified Iraq that is strong enough to maintain its territorial integrity, but not so powerful as to threaten its neighbors.”

Gosh, when did Iran become so altruistic and so unconcerned with its own interests? Last I heard, the mad Mullahs and their certifiable front-man were hell-bent on establishing a regional caliphate to be quickly followed by global domination. And yet now the Baker Commission informs us that Iran really has Iraq’s best interests at heart. Phew! What a relief.
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THE MOST FITTING WORD FOR THIS ENTIRE exercise is silly. Everything that Baker, Hamilton and company say rests on the assumption that our malefactors have legitimate grievances and good faith goals. In other words, not only can our enemies be trusted, their agendas are not to be questioned. (And Baker and his ilk have the audacity to style themselves realists.)
Hugh Hewitt is also down on the report. Excerpt:
Incredibly, the ISG did not consult with anyone from the democratic government of Lebanon, even as the ISG urges us to reach an understanding with Syria.

Of the 43 "former officials and experts" consulted -- including Mark Danner of the New York Review of Books, Thomas Friedman, Leslie Gelb, Sandy Berger, Anthony Lake, Ken Pollack, Thomas Ricks, and George Will -- the ISG did not find it necessary to talk with, say, Victor Davis Hanson, Lawrence Wright, Robert Kaplan, Mark Steyn, Michael Ledeen, Reuel Marc Gerecht, or Christopher Hitchens. The ISG did talk with Bill Kristol. I wonder how long that sit down lasted?

The report combines an almost limitless condescension towards the "Iraqi sovereign government," even going so far as to lay out a timetable for its exact legislative program for the next six months, with a cavalier indifference to the Syrian death squads operating in Lebanon, and the certain nature of the Iranian regime -- still, on this very day, hosting the anti-Holocaust conference.
There are no easy answers. It was always a risk that in taking down Hussein, the country would fragment like the former Yugoslavia did.

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