7.12.06

A damning indictment of a President and his policy


Independent Online Edition > Leading Articles:

A more devastating indictment of the strategy of a sitting American president could not be imagined. The cross-party Iraq Study Group's recommendations on future US policy in that blighted country were made public yesterday. Gone are the illusions of 'progress' and 'victory' peddled by George Bush - and, until recently, Tony Blair. Instead, it paints an unvarnished picture of the 'dire' reality in Iraq. It breaks new ground not in the proposals it makes, but in the bluntness with which it speaks truth to power.

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Most important, however, is the reaction of this most obstinate of presidents. Mr Bush says he will take the report "very seriously". But he has hitherto shown little inclination to engage Iran and Syria, and none whatsoever to put pressure on Israel. He still talks of "seeing the job through", and says the ISG report is just one of several sets of proposals he is considering.

But none will be as authoritative. Can he now, for once, take the advice of people whose views are not his own? It is most certainly his best chance, and probably his last one, of salvaging something from one of the greatest foreign disasters in American history.

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