I had hope, but it is fading fast. The following is a small clip from a small heads-up from a member of the Iraq Studies Group. Heck, The Corner doesn't need my traffic, I'll quote in full.
I’ve been a member of the “expert” advisory group of the Baker/Hamilton panel. The frustration I and a few others faced: We thought our task was to develop options to move forward in Iraq. Most of our colleagues thought the task was to develop options to move out of Iraq.Looks like the fix was from the beginning. Lets see what comes out, but it can't be good for someone like Mr. May to put this out. This will get ugly.
In other words, the few hawks (or conservatives or neo-cons or whatever you want to call them) were arguing not for “victory” as Bush once envisioned it (Iraq as a shining city on the Middle Eastern hill) but against accepting defeat at the hands of such groups al Qaeda in Iraq and Saddam loyalists, against lamely attempting to disguise defeat as “redeployment” or “an exit strategy.” At the very least, we implored, let’s imagine and plan for the likely consequences of American defeat. That was derided as subscribing to the “domino theory.”
The Foreign Policy Establishment types who dominate the Iraq Study Group had opposed the war from the start and, in my view, mostly wanted to send Bush this message: “Idiot! We told you so!”
They were unconvinced by the case that I and a few others were making: That if the U.S. mission in Iraq sinks, it won’t just be Captain Bush and his neo-con crew that will drown. America will have a lost a key battle in a serious global conflict.
I think the following quote from one unnamed commission member who was a source for the NYT story today, confirms what I’ve said above: “We had to move the national debate from whether to stay the course to how do we start down the path out.”
It is somewhere in my archive, but this is looking like a variation of what I thought was coming a couple of years ago. This could turn towards a CIV/Press/Military divide not seen in 30 years. I thought this was just going to be a Left Right divide. No, this is going to be different, I think. Those in uniform should start circling the wagons.
This can be made a defeat very easliy. It can be won with patience and hard work. But if ordered, we can retreat if so ordered. We've done it before. The usual suspects are already out there.
If we as a nation don't do this right, there is a good chance that a push will be made to put the resulting Charlie Foxtrot in the lap of the military from both Right and Left looking for someone to blame.
At this rate, added to some of his domestic priorities, I think GWB may be leading himself towards one of the lowest approval ratings within his party of any President - much less the nation.