1. Anonymous says:

    But that global standing is already diminished. This report is just an attempt to pretend it’s not.

    sound familiar?

    O: Oh yes, the, uh, the Norwegian Blue…What’s,uh…What’s wrong with it?

    C: I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it, my lad. ’E’s dead, that’s what’s wrong with it!

    O: No, no, ’e’s uh,…he’s resting.

    C: Look, matey, I know a dead parrot when I see one, and I’m looking at one right now.

    O: No no he’s not dead, he’s, he’s restin’! Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, idn’it, ay? Beautiful plumage!

    C: The plumage don’t enter into it. It’s stone dead.

    O: Nononono, no, no! ’E’s resting!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Emptywheel, excellent work. Few have read the report carefully yet, and none with your political insights. Have you thought about cross-posting this?

    â€There’s no agent that I can see anywhere in this paragraph.†Smiles from this Lit Crit guy when he read that…. And congratulations on the book!

  3. Anonymous says:

    There seems to be a fundamantal divide between the ISG, who seems to be arguing for a restoration of our tilt toward the Sunnis, and Cheney/Hadley, who seem to be pushing the â€unleash the Shia†option, if Laura Rozen’s many posts on this are correct. But that is really ironic, because Cheney is the most adamant (supposedly) about not talking to Iran. Baker of course represents the Saudi interests, who seem to be getting pretty upset with Junior.

    The idea that a little more brutality toward the Sunnis will convince them to support the â€unity†government that isn’t seems to me about as well-founded as the notion that strategic bombing will break a country’s morale and obviate the need for massive ground troops. Why doesn’t it just strengthen Iran’s hand, as you are suggesting? (Egypt is a neighbor while Iran isn’t? Doesn’t anyone ever look at a map anymore?)

    I guess this is why I think the whole thing is unravelling so fast that it won’t last much past the end of 2007 or middle of 2008.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Mimikatz – you hit on exactly why the whole tilt-to-the-Shia thing seems so strange to me. Why on earth would that be supported by people who think Iran is the Great Satan?

    But that’s just of a piece with the whole strangeness of this war, which couldn’t have gone better for the Iranians (at least the hardliners) if the whole thing had been planned in Tehran.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Shorter emptywheel: In any case, the report is pretty pathetic.

    Not that I’d want you to write shorter. Your analysis is far better than the report. But as I’ve noted elsewhere, 10 of us with a secure weblog and nine days to spare could have done a more creditable job than those 10 and their staffs did in nine friggin’ months.

    What I think the ISG mostly proves is that bipartisan does not equal balanced, much less far-sighted or even vaguely useful.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Not only that, MB, the 10 of us could have predicted what the invasion would lead to (and many of us did), and if listened to, could have prevented us from getting into this friggin’ mess in the first place.

    But it was Lenin who said, â€There is no situation from which there is no way out.†It’s just that the options are unpleasnat and uncomfortable.

    And just let me say that I couldn’t agree more with Digby’s merciless and repeated skewering of the cognoscenti who were SO offended by Clinton’s bad manners but remain captivated by the clown who undid 40 years of progress and sent the country into a disasterous downward spiral.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Ew is provocative as we ponder the way thru the 110th. It will be interesting to see who has Cheney’s ear outside of the time it is glued to stovepipes. The Rangel stirred fracas over conscription to populate the neoCon plans for the middle east should delight Cheney’s inCrowd. I have only the most distant perspective on whether Ew has a political familiarity with NPelosi; but, I think if Cheney’s group pushes too illicitly, they will discover they have met their match of wits in NP, whose proximity to the bursor’s office could impinge upon Cheney’s hopes to keep stirring trouble by executive deployment of military. I was reading a fairly moderate commentator on these concerns today.
    The ISG report gives importance to some of the US’ allies in the region; and I think that is why Iran is deemphasized; billions$ historically in arms gifted from US to those countries more than to Iraq. The sectarian problem in the region is worrisome for Russkies, as well, both within the Former States, and as a neighboring zone; though, as Ew mentions, petrol is a predominant interest that transcends nation for many involved in the Iraq outcome. I have to read my copy of the ISG report again; I keep thinking there were only 80pp.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I was discussing this April ’05 editorial from retired CIA agent Michael Scheurer on a different matter earlier today but it’s appropriate regarding the Iraq Study Group as well:

    â€The aristocracy’s shamefulness came home to roost on 9/11 and in Iraq. Those responsible reached for the most reliable of all whitewashers – the blue-ribbon special commission. These panels have been stocked only with those who will reliably chant: â€We are not here to point fingers.†Believing Americans are inattentive yokels, the commissions take testimony, ignore or bury the truth, and issue reports exculpating those who appointed them. What caused 3,000 dead on 9/11; 1,500-plus dead in Iraq; the failure to eliminate bin Laden; and the calamity-in-the-making of open borders and unenforced immigration laws? Why the intelligence community’s â€structure,†of course! Americans are to believe that antiquated structure – an inanimate object – caused multiple U.S. defeats. Case closed; aristocracy safe; and Americans – like Union troops at Cold Harbor – pinning on name tags to identify their corpses after al-Qaeda’s next strike.

    The recent commissions have ensured federal officials – elected and appointed – and their senior bureaucrats are inviolably protected by one rule: No one is responsible for anything at anytime, ever. This phrase should be placed on the Great Seal and used to prepare America’s obituary.â€


    He’s slamming Silbermann-Robb above but nothing has changed. Like Yogi said, It’s deja vu all over again.

  9. Anonymous says:

    FWIW, imho, prior to Bush invading Iraq, the Sunni Shia rivalry could be maintained with just our oil purchases. Now it’s costing the U.S. about a thousand lives a year and $267,000,000/day.

    I think the Iraq Slow Learners Group left this out.