Bush Starts His Own Iraq Study Review
Is President George Bush laying the groundwork to ignore parts of the finding and recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group? The Washington Post:
President Bush formally launched a sweeping internal review of Iraq policy yesterday, pulling together studies underway by various government agencies, according to U.S. officials.
The initiative, begun after Bush met at the White House with his foreign policy team, parallels the effort by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group to salvage U.S. policy in Iraq, develop an exit strategy and protect long-term U.S. interests in the region. The two reviews are not competitive, administration officials said, although the White House wants to complete the process before mid-December, about the time the Iraq Study Group’s final report is expected.
The White House’s decision changes the dynamics of what happens next to U.S. policy deliberations. The administration will have its own working document as well as recommendations from an independent bipartisan commission to consider as it struggles to prevent further deterioration in Iraq.
Here’s the key part of this story:
The White House review could give the administration alternatives so that it feels less pressure to fully implement the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group report, foreign policy experts said.
The adminsistration is denying that the Iraq Study Group didn’t prompt this review. But haven’t voters already come to a decision about the value and veracity of administration denials? And if the Study Group issues recommendations and they’re ignored in favor of something more to Mr. Bush (and Mr. Cheney’s) liking the stage will be set for a truly fiery next two years.