The first line of the report says that the situation in Iraq is grave and getting worse. That is true. The top recommendation is that American forces pull out of chaotic districts and concentrate on training and supporting the Iraqi military, thereby pressuring the Iraqi government to control the violence, rather than relying on Americans to do it.
Now that sounds good on paper, and will probably happen to some extent, but success is in doubt. That's because many Iraqis have no allegiance to the government in Baghdad. They are essentially home boys. They support their local imams and leaders. It's the same old story of tribalism over unification.
Can the USA overcome that problem? Well, after nearly four years in Iraq, the answer looks to be no. But it is worth one more shot. And putting Iraq on notice that you either fight for freedom now we're gone is the most worthy message from the Study Group.
The report also says the USA should talk with Iran and Syria. Well, that's fine, but good luck. The French press quotes Iranian leader Ahmadinejad today as saying, "Western leaders must follow the path of god or vanish from the face of the earth." Ahmadinejad is also bragging he'll have nukes by March.
Again, we should chat with the Iranians, but expecting much from these fanatics is a stretch.
There are two primary reasons the Iraq campaign has failed. The USA misjudged the Iraqi people. And Iran has undermined all attempts at securing liberty by arming and inciting the Shiia militias.
Iran is doing this in order to dominate Iraq when the USA leaves. And once that happens, the rest of the Gulf will become destabilized, as will your lights and gas tank if Iran gets control of the region. What a mess.
The Iraq Study Group did a good job. The folks on it are smart and honest. And the president would be wise to listen. But at this point, if the Iraqis want to kill each other, we should let them. Our main goal should be preventing Iran from securing a foothold in Iraq and getting our troops into more secure positions.
By the way, the name of the Iraq Study Group should really be the "Iran Study Group."
And that's the Memo.
Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
You know, it seems now every day we report on some left-wing display on a college campus in America. Well, now here's a right-wing display.
The Young Conservative group at the University of Texas has put up this holiday display. No, it's not a manger scene. It's a solstice barn. Instead of Joseph and Mary tending to Jesus, they've got Gary and Joseph. The wise men are Lenin, Marx, and Stalin. And the display is dedicated to the ACLU.
And I almost forgot, the angel on high appears to be Nancy Pelosi.