Thursday, December 07, 2006

Bush Sings “My Way” to Iraqi Study Group

The Texas crooner occupying the White House serenaded James Baker, Lee Hamilton and the rest of the Iraqi Study Group with his version of “My Way”. What leads me to believe President Bush is snubbing the high profile commission?

First, Bush sloughed off the recommendation that the U.S. talk with Syria and Iran. Within a day of the report’s release the President said:

"If they want to sit down at the table with the United States, it's easy. Just make some decisions that'll lead to peace, not to conflict"

Plunk! That's the sound of Bush hitting the ball into Iran’s and Syria’s court. Did you note how it stands as something much less than an invitation to talk?

Second, the same day Bush received the report, Congress approved Dr. Robert Gates as the new Secretary of Defense. A number of the Study Group’s critical recommendations have an end of 2006 timeline for implementation. Dr. Gates as Defense Chief owns a number of those agenda items. Despite being approved on the 6th, he cannot start his new job until December 18th, due to items he needs to wrap up at Texas A&M.

What could be more important in Aggieland than in Iraq given the assessment and the country’s critical role in the region? My guess is nothing. This time line is more indicative of Bush’s view of the ISG report. After all it called the Executive Branch out for poor performance in a number of areas.

There is also the time of year to consider. Most Americans know how little work is accomplished in Washington, D.C. to begin with. Add in the Christmas/New Year’s holiday season and work slows to a virtual crawl. Am I to believe Dr. Gates is such an incredible person that he’ll be able to implement the ISG’s urgent recommendations shortly after landing at Reagan International?

President Bush apparently needs more advice than the Study Group's. He said he’d decide his next move after pending reports on the Iraq war from the National Security Council and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

It appears the President wants to get on “a new way forward” after the first of the year, so all you suffering Iraqis, don’t hold your breath waiting for change. White House Press Secretary Tony Snow had this to say on the White House approach.

"We're hoping to have all that pulled together so that maybe by the end of the year, the president can announce a new way forward”

It appears Dr. Gates may just be working hard over the holidays. Will it be for Texas A&M, The Fidelity Funds, or the Defense Department? Time will tell…

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