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The Baker Commission's recommendations for a new diplomatic initiative and preparations to begin withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq will draw no more than lip service when the president speaks.
Their months of labor, a gift from the elder George Bush intended to provide his son some sort of cover for a strategic retreat from the disaster he's created in the Middle East, will be ignored as an inconvenient truth.
Those who've sacrificed the most - America's Army and Marine ground forces and their families - will be asked to continue bearing the burden and paying an even higher price in dead and wounded for a president's ego and intransigence.
The very troops who will make up the temporary bump in U.S. forces in Iraq are those who've already paid that price over and over. They'll be found by a sleight-of-hand maneuver: ordering units already tapped to return to Iraq to go there earlier than scheduled.
That isn't even robbing Peter to pay Paul. It's robbing Peter to pay Peter.
George W. Bush believes that he can buy another couple of years of violent stalemate so he can hand off the disaster to whoever succeeds him in the White House on Jan. 20, 2009. How many more Americans and Iraqis must die to ensure that Bush's parting words as he retreats to Crawford, Texas, will be: I never cut and ran. I stood tall. I kept America safe.
The problem with that scenario is that it, like all the others drawn by George Bush and Dick Cheney, is far too rosy. The way forward in Iraq is a spiral toward an even bloodier future, and the real decisions are the Iraqis', not George Bush's.
It's too little, too late, Mr. President.
Last edited by PressCoverage; 01-09-2007 at 10:44 PM..
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