I have read the entire report. I agree that the combat phase should be reduced over the next year or so but that seems excessively long to continue this Vietnam quagmire. I disagree with its refusal to have a precipitate withdrawal over a set period of time.
I disagree that the U.S. should emphasise training Iraqi army and police units. First of all that is hardly new; we have been doing that since 2003. The purpose is not to increase the level of violence by training counterinsurgency but remove the American military from Iraq and stop the Arab killing.
I agree that the U.S. should seek regional diplomatic initiatives including Syria and Iran. I have called for that for almost four years. I agree that the Iran nuclear programme should not be used as an excuse for non-diplomacy. In fact that issue alone should propel bilateral U.S. actions with regard to Iran and certainly multilateral too with regard to Iraq and Hezbollah.
This increases in frequency as the U.S. is perceived as a racist, vicious, imperial coloniser:
I agree with the Iraq Study Group that the Palestine slaughter by the Israelis and the lack of commitment to a two-state solution is at the heart of the Middle East quagmire. The Baker-Hamilton group call for a renewed diplomatic undertaking. It calls for a return of the Golan Heights but the idea of a U.S. peacekeeping force is a non-starter for Syria. They would never accept zionist forces on their border with Israel. I agree that Syria could be more helpful with Hamas and that they should not destabilise Lebanon.
I agree that the U.S. should talk to the Grand Ayatollah Sistani but he does not choose to talk to Americans. Can you blame him and I have not seen a concerted U.S. effort to contact him in Iraq? Perhaps they have back channel. I agree that the U.S. should talk to Moqtada al-Sadr, possibly the most influential figure in Iraq even if a young firebrand. He commands a 40,000 to 60,000 Mahdi army: it is not a militia but a pretty well-equipped fighting force. Instead of sweeping through his Shi’a controlled areas of Baghdad, reaching an accomodation with al-Sadr might help create an instant Iraq army that might be more stabilising but I still oppose U.S. training of Iraqi forces. The Iraq Study Group’s emphasis on negotiating and establishing links with American adversaries should be adopted by the criminal, preemptive, pathological Bush crowd.
The report is well-organized but is a little too heavy on scores of recommendations. I wish it would have assessed the origins of the war and condemned those that caused this seneseless tragedy and disaster; it was the result of criminal minds who have ruined Iraq and totally distorted American’s priorities at home and elsewhere. If one steals a tire or a six pack from Walgreens, jail time might result. If one is an American who tears up countries, lies about W.M.D. and is responsible for over 600,000 Iraqi dead and almost 3,000 Americans, should these national-security elites be allowed to go home to their wives and girl friends? The Iraq Study Group should have also been retrospective in its analysis, as The Pentagon Papers were in Vietnam, and analysed the sources of this evil war that disgraces our country and the people who represent it.