Monday, April 24, 2006

Bush Actually Seeking Facts on Iraq?

It has been 1,687 days since Osama bin Laden attacked the United States.
It has been 1,090 days since President Bush pranced around on the deck of an aircraft carrier in a flightsuit under a banner that read "Mission Accomplished."
Bin Laden is still at large.
President Bush has decided he could use some advice on what to do about Iraq. The New York Times reports that Bush family fixer James A. Baker III is heading up a fact-finding mission to Iraq.
"If you had a health problem, you'd want somebody to give you a second opinion," said Representative Frank R. Wolf, an influential Virginia Republican who helped recruit Mr. Baker for the job. "What the United States needs on Iraq is some fresh ideas from people able to speak out, and no one is more qualified to do that than Jim Baker."
One can only wish that Bush had shown a greater interest in the facts before sending us to war in Iraq.
Notably, Baker opposed ousting Saddam Hussein in 1991:
What gives Mr. Baker's role weight, however, is that while he has never publicly deplored the decision to go to war, he wrote in his memoirs that he had opposed ousting Saddam Hussein in the Persian Gulf war in 1991 out of concern that it would have led to an Iraqi civil war, international resentment of the United States and eventual loss of American support for an occupation. He has told colleagues that he feels vindicated.
Baker is co-chairman, along with former congressman Lee Hamilton, of a congressionally funded effort called the Iraq Study Group that seems genuinely bipartisan:
Among their team are William J. Perry, a former defense secretary under President Clinton; former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York; the former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor; and Vernon E. Jordan Jr., a longtime civil rights leader, Washington power broker and confidant of President Clinton.


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