about this latest political ploy by Congress--re-convening the Iraq Study Group. I'm dumbfounded, too. So, I'll write about it anyway.
The ISG is supposed to "study" Iraq's conditions and report to Congress a month after Patraeus' report is due in September. Then, it's said, the reports will be melded and something--probably nothing meaningful--will arise from that process.
First, it's politicaly idiocy on the Democrats' part. This process will only delay and eventually legitimatize the Bush madness in Iraq. It will give Bush an "out" in the fall, by allowing him to escape the consequences of his years of misdeeds by following some of the ISG's recommendations, albeit belatedly, and hence to appear reasonable and "bipartisan" as the war enters the final year of his terms. By allowing this, the Democrats are defusing a critical facet of the anti-Republican sentiment that has grown up over the war, and in particular will be handing Republican Congressional candidates a vehicle for arguing that their continued (up to now) support for the war was well-founded.
Second, re-visiting the ISG will gain nothing in terms of saving lives and treasure in Iraq. The eventual report will, again, be a hodgepodge of observations and "approaches," none of them novel, none of them dramatic. It will be a same-old, same-old document that wastes time and effort, and merely allows the pols to delay decision-making and to be able to point to paperwork as justification.
Third, now that the "surge" is well underway, and is going nowhere, to ask the ISG to report again is absurdly naive. The surge has closed options that might have been available ten months ago when its first report was rendered. Now, what can the ISG say except to reiterate what it said originally, except, perhaps, with more urgency.
I am furious at the dumb, cowardly Congress that has chosen this path. It's an insult to me as an American. I deserve better from my representatives.