Noted historian Eric Foner in a December 7 article on OpEd News.com calls George Bush "the worst president in US history....(who) in his first six years in office....managed to combine the lapses of leadership, misguided policies and abuse of power of his failed predecessors." Equally noted historian Gabriel Kolko agrees, and along with his other comments, calls the Bush administration "the worst set of incompetents ever to hold power in Washington." And referring specifically to the war in Iraq, Kolko colorfully describes what former Reagan administration National Security Agency (NSA) chief General William Odom calls "....the worst strategic mistake in the history of the United States" by saying the Bush administration "shocked and awed....itself." Hard to say it better than that.
Enter James Baker and the Iraq Study Group (ISG) that reported its findings publicly on December 6 after most of it was leaked well in advance making its release and full-court corporate media press hyping and griping anti-climactic as well as disappointing and disturbing. The ISG was formed in March with at least four crucial aims:
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--to avoid a perceived inevitable political and fiscal train wreck caused by the disastrous Bush administration policy over the past six years.
-- to buy time for the failed and discredited Bush administration attempting to save it along with the family's name and reputation.
-- to devise a scheme to assure US dominance in the Middle East, fast slipping away, is restored and maintained going forward so this country doesn't lose control over what a State Department spokesperson in 1945 called a "stupendous source of strategic power and one of the greatest material prizes in world history -(the region's oil)."
-- to be a (thinly-veiled) attempt to assuage public anger over a war gone sour, that's illegal, can't be won, is taking a terrible toll, and never should have been waged.