"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


meanwhile on iraq

The Iraq Study Group report is out now. Here is the Executive Summary of the report, which tells you what you need to know. Lee Hamilton's speech thus far is realistic and harsh. And Sandra Day O'Connor wore pink to the press conference, because she can. The report calls for an increased number of troops to support Iraqi forces, for major troop pullouts to be possibly completed by early 2008, and to involve regional powers in an attempt to find the solution.

The group's recommendations are unlikely to be followed by the president. As my boss points out, there are no good options for the U.S. in Iraq, and involving the Iranians (who have a vested interest in a stable Iraq) would likely mean allowing them to develop their nuclear capacity. Which would mean that Bush would have to reverse policy. Which won't happen.

That said, the president has to do something. The Democrats could cut the purse strings if he doesn't. The Gates hearing yesterday was reassuring - here is a grown-up who isn't driven by ideology. God help us. And God help the Iraqis, who will be left to deal with this mess for generations to come.


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