Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Just What We Need, Another Commission!

In December 2006, the Iraq Study Group issued its report. Among other things, the panel -- first proposed by our own Rep. Frank Wolf -- recommended a phased troop redeployment and negotiations with nations in the region including Syria and Iran. The problem is, the report's recommendations were slammed by conservatives as "Operation White Flag", among other things. Since then, Congress has held a series of party-line votes, with Republicans like Frank Wolf voting in lockstep to uphold George W. Bush's Iraq policy, and Democrats mainly voting to place benchmarks and timetables on the Iraqi government and the war in general.

Meanwhile, the Iraq Study Group Recommendations Implementation Act of 2007 was introduced in June 2007 but has "received no action."

Given all that, you'd think the last thing we need is yet another commission to study the Iraq fiasco. Believe it or not, though, that's exactly what Rep. Frank Wolf has in mind:

The Iraq Study Group might get a second go-round. Legislation pushed by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), which is now law, directs the U.S. Institute of Peace to support a second version of the commission that would send former Rep. Lee Hamilton and former Secretary of State James Baker III and two other commissioners to Iraq to assess the situation. Hamilton has told the Institute that he is prepared to go, according to Hamilton and an Institute spokesman.

“I think they could really be an asset,” said Wolf. “They ought to do it sooner and not later.” The Iraq Study Group initially recommended negotiations with neighboring countries and a gradual troop withdrawal. A second report, however, is waiting on Baker.

So...Iraq Study Group Part Deux? For the purpose of...what, having Republicans like Frank Wolf ignore its recommendations once again? What a great idea; thank you Frank Wolf!

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