Friday, December 08, 2006
The ISG Follies
The President is not obligated to adopt the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group. He has the opportunity to do so, and thereby absolve himself partially from recriminations that will follow from the resulting chaos. It seems that, based on press reports, what the committee is suggesting will have the effect of "kicking the can down the road"--of delaying an eventual confrontation with the ideologues of the Middle East, now entering their ascendancy. It may be possible to delay the fragmentation of Iraq and its radicalization by Iran and Syria by maintaining some kind of presence on the borders, the no-fly zone, strict surveillance, economic sanctions, etc. There will at some point come a showdown with these power-hungry parties. It may be that the no-war coalition in the U.S. will be the ones in power when it happens. Then, they will be forced to do as FDR did, as JFK did, and become the party of war. If the current "hawks" were to act in the most cynical manner possible in order to assure their eventual return to power, they would implement the ISG's recommendations in short order and enthusiastically. I'm not sure that this is acceptable as a moral option, but it surely is politically alluring.