Hey everybody, let's do the Iraq Study Group Twist

Monday, December 11, 2006 at 03:05 PM

Six has already remarked on the vitriolic response of the extreme right to the Iraq Study Group report.  But check this out for twisted logic on why the report is "lying" about the ISG not wanting to "stay the course."

Here is Reuel Marc Gerecht on the American Enterprise Institute's web site, on that point (emphasis added:

The ISG opens by telling us that "the situation in Iraq is grave and deteriorating" and that the country "is vital to regional and even global stability, and is critical to U.S. interests," but then fails to tell us what the U.S. military has done right or wrong since 2003. Nowhere in the report can we find a thoughtful discussion of those counterinsurgency campaigns where the American military has done well (Tal Afar) and those where it has done poorly (most of our operations in Baghdad since the fall of 2003). I suspect that the ISG has not done so because any serious review of the past would give the reader a profound sensation of déja vu: Baker and Hamilton assert boldly that their commission's conclusions do not amount to "staying the course." Yet Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his generals John Abizaid and George Casey could have written the report's Iraq portions. Take a look at Secretary Rumsfeld's final "options" memorandum, and read the ISG report. The similarities are overwhelming.

Now you see the value of Rumsfeld's self-serving, lame duck memo, which common sense tells you was deliberately leaked to the press last week.

Despite years of "stay the course" rhetoric, despite years of denying the bad news and decrying the omission of the "good" news, Rummy writes one hurried memo and voila'--the consistently wrong Right can wrongly claim that Rummy got to those conclusions before the ISG.

So anything that the ISG recommends that bears any similarity to anything recommended in Rummy's rambling catch-all list of things to consider can be seen as "old news." Or, even better according to Mr. Gerecht, anything that Rummy slapped down at the speed of light in his parting missive can be portrayed as being part of the "course" that was "being stayed" the whole bloody time.

Nice if you can get away with it.  But I have to say, I wrote an incredibly long list of Iraq options weeks before Rummy did.  So I guess Rummy is actually recommending that we stay my "new course," which means the ISG is recommending that we abandon the "old course."

Unless someone else, somewhere, beat me to it and drew up an "old course" list before I drew up my "new course" list which Rummy stole and the ISG stole back.