December 6, 2006 by lonbud
The Man In The Mirror
The Baker-Hamilton Commission, more popularly known, perhaps, as the Iraq Study Group, released Wednesday its report on what outgoing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld once famously called “our adventure in Iraq.” At present, others might call it a civil war, a quagmire, a complex situation, or any number of other, less charitable things, but the commission’s statement for the record (available in 160 softbound pages for $6.57 at Amazon) called it “grave and deteriorating,” near-chaos, something on the precipice of “humanitarian catastrophe.”
The report was hailed by a palpable bi-partisan contingent of Congress for its frank and forthright assessment of where stands our effort to root Democracy in the sands of Arabia. As regards our noble mission to bless the Middle East with the grace and advantages of freedom and justice for all, the commission allowed “there is no path that can guarantee success,” yet outlined some seventy-plus recommendations for seeing that our “prospects can be improved.”
Things are being slowly acknowledged on a wider scale today about Iraq, things at complete odds with even the Bush administration’s most recent reflections on the matter, not to mention their being well within the state of affairs predicted by opponents of the war from its outset.
No one knows whether a unified Iraq will emerge standing amid the wreckage of all we have wrought, whether sectarian interests may one day effectively partition the former country into three republics, or what could befall our ill-considered and poorly managed expenditure of political, strategic, financial — and let us not forget — human capital there.
Today’s report by yet another blue-ribbon panel of experts and concerned civil servants is no more than a gloss on the monumental hubris and failure of George W. Bush’s presidency.
And yet, the man ultimately at the center of all the reporting and conjecturing and, frankly, attention, feels no undue weight in the face of his signature debacle. In an interview this week with Fox Network’s Britt Hume, Mr. Bush professed the “burden of the office is not heavy, it’s light.” He also praised the uplifting support he gets from knowing “millions of Americans are praying,” which makes his experience of office “a joyful experience. Not a painful experience.”
He went on to say, ” And yeah it’s tough, but that’s OK. It’s tough times. And there’s a lot of big issues … ”
In other news, major stock indexes closed near their all-time highs, crude oil closed over $60 per barrel, gold over $625 per oz, with the interest rate on 10 year government notes at 4.5%. 11 US soldiers died in Iraq.