I've meditated on the ISG Report a little more, and I'm realizing that maybe it isn't a complete waste of time and paper. I stand by my original assessment that even if implemented with scientific exactitude, it's not going to come close to salvaging Iraq, and I stand by my subsequent prediction that Bush will use it to put bipartisan lipstick on the stay-the-course pig. What makes the ISG Report a Big Deal is that after all the hype about how the ISG is such a bipartisan collection of Serious Old Wise Men (and Sandra Day), they completely and utterly trashed the administration's approach to the war - not just strategy (or its absence) or tactics, but also the gaming and suppression of negative information.
In other words, after being given a whole lot of (undeserved) credibility as a nonpartisan band of fair dealers, they exposed the Iraq invasion and occupation for the deadly, destabilizing, and incompetently executed fraud that it really is. It's one thing to hear that sort of thing from us lily-livered, Bush-hating liberals, but from James Baker and Ed Meese? Ed MEESE, people! It moves the Iraq-is-a-destructive failure narrative squarely into the center of "acceptable" political opinion.
Sure, the White House and the corporate media will do all they can to retroactively marginalize the ISG and spin their findings, but I think it's too late.
One question keeps coming to mind: Did 41 know about this? I assume he had some idea of the recommendations, but did he know Junior's War was going to get slammed so bluntly? And if so, did he try to put on the brakes, or did he give it his blessing? I think the father-son dynamic/rivalry is twisted enough that that could be entirely possible. I bet the Bush Christmas dinner will be severely festivity-impaired this year either way, maybe with Junior sulking by himself at the kiddie table.