The New York Times will report in today’s paper that the Baker/Hamilton Iraq Commission has unanimously agreed that President Bush should start a phased draw down of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2007. The full report is slated for publication on December 6th, but the NYT reports from solid sources that while the Commission will not set any timetables for the troops to leave, they will make it clear to Bush that a military win is not in the cards.
Bush now must make a decision about how to lead. On Tuesday he again made his usual note card statement about staying in Iraq until the mission has been completed. He has defined and redefined the mission so many times that really no one is paying any attention to him anymore. First it was WMD’s, though many us here never thought that there were any such weapons in Iraq. When the weapons issue was proved to be false, Bush then tried to sell the idea that liberating Iraq from a leader that he did not like justified occupation of a Middle Eastern nation. When the people of Iraq struck back at the U.S. invaders Bush said “we need to fight them over there so we do not need to fight them over here.” When it became obvious that the internal struggle was between various tribes and sects that had no interest in coming to America, Bush still waxes nostalgic about “the mission.” Bush acts as if there was ever a serious mission, other than a calculated political war.
Bush must now sober up to the reality of the results of the Baker/Hamilton Report. His ‘mission’ is over, and his Presidency will be harshly judged by future historians for the way he misled a nation into war, and the death of nearly 3,000 American soldiers, and countless Iraqi citizens. The damage that President Bush was done to the Middle East will take decades to resolve.
While this blogger was against the war, and for most of the past three years argued for a policy change to improve the situation, there comes a time to say that Bush lost Iraq, and our soldiers need to come home.