Back in 1941, December 6 was the day that diplomacy failed, and we found ourselves waking up the next morning to a world at war. Sixty-five years later, a blue ribbon panel has come to the conclusion that a world at war needs to return to diplomacy. The circles that we travel in are constant and amazing.
After four years, four hundred billion dollars and more than 2,900 U.S. deaths , violence is bad and getting worse, there is no guarantee of success and the consequences of failure are great, the panel of five Republicans and five Democrats said in a bleak accounting of U.S. and Iraqi shortcomings. The implications, they warned, are dire for terrorism, war in the Middle East and higher oil prices around the world.
Off in the distance, we hear the refrain, "We will stay until the mission is completed." Is there anybody left who can say, with a straight face, just what that mission is? "Because none of the operations conducted by U.S. and Iraqi military forces are fundamentally changing the conditions encouraging the sectarian violence, U.S. forces seem to be caught in a mission that has no foreseeable end," the report said. Was that the mission to which we had been referring?
The panel suggests a "diplomatic offensive" starting by the end of this month, as well as including Iran and Syria in the stabilization of the region. At this point, the panel could have suggested installing a ouija board as the central ruling process for the Middle East and they would have been taken seriously.
Or at least as seriously as the Pinhead who keeps spouting off about "finishing the mission." Haven't any of these guys seen "Apocalypse Now"? Come to think of it, that would make a fine subtitle for this report.