Everyone Stop Panicking! We've Got a Study Group!
Oh look, they brought in a gray-beard. James Baker, the offical Bush Family Gray Beard, is here to placate Congress and encourage more stories about how shake-ups are really shaking things up and oh how much more up could this White House be shaken? Not much more up, that's for sure! The Times has already compared it to LBJ and Acheson! "The analogy is far from perfect," they acknowledge, mostly because it's a stupid and inapplicable analogy, but it was fun to make anyway. The piece is short on details of what Baker will actually be doing, and long on anonymous people claiming that this'll really shake things up.
Some officials involved in the study group say the mission reflects a growing realization inside the Bush administration that the course in Iraq is not working, and dissatisfaction with a foreign policy team that has not successfully trained the Iraqi military or brokered a political order that could win confidence of Iraq's disparate sectarian groups.
Yes, the "Iraq Study Group" is here, everyone can stop worrying. Just because it sounds like a housewives' book-of-the-month club and it's just another batch of think tank-sponsored wanking and easily-ignored soft-spoken quibbling from a bunch of people who used up their real influence 5-10 years ago doesn't mean it won't accomplish anything. No, if it inspires but one or two more "responding to criticism" analysis pieces in our major newspapers or weeklies, then it's a job well done.