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Well, this has to hurt:

From the very first page, in which co-chairmen James A. Baker III and Lee H. Hamilton scold that "our leaders must be candid and forthright with the American people," the bipartisan report is nothing less than a repudiation of the Bush administration's diplomatic and military approach to Iraq and to the whole region.

Throughout its pages, the report reflects the foreign policy establishment's disdain for the "neoconservative" policies long espoused by President Bush and his aides. But while many of its recommendations stem from the "realist" school of foreign policy, it is unclear at this point whether a radically different approach would make much difference nearly four years after the invasion of Iraq.  (emphasis mine)

Having watched so much of the Bush and Pony Show today, I have to say that I'm not hopeful that the message — of the elections in November, of the ISG report, of the disgust of the American public — has remotely begun to sink in, or that it ever will, frankly.

I've been thinking quite a bit today about the fact that it is Pearl Harbor Day, and the efforts that this nation of ours put forward, together, during WWII, both those in uniform and those left at home, and the leadership that this required.

And I have been asking myself how a President who had so much cooperation and support in the aftermath of 9/11/01 — not just in the United States, but all over the world — could have sunk to this incredibly low level in such a short period of time, and squandered such an historic opportunity to significantly reshape how we and the rest of the world view the potential for cooperative action — in Afghanistan, in intel cooperation, in really making a dent in poverty and despair and all of the various issues which add fuel to the radical fires across the globe.  And then I wonder if he asks himself that as well.

Ouch, indeed.

(And yes, I know, there were hiccups and problems, and the government wasn't perfect, and history records this issue or that, and that we ought to have gotten in earlier into the European front and…yes, I do read history and I'm giving a simplistic version for a reason, so don't send me e-mails trying to educate me about every tangential bit of history, please, I beg you. Every single thing that is ever written by me does not have to include every detail. I trust that you guys are more than intelligent enough to not only know this, but to look into things for yourselves. The point is simply this — we don't exactly have leadership at the moment worth trusting or worth putting our hearts into, now do we?  And isn't that a shame, because we are sorely in need of some real leadership right now.  So let me take a moment to say "Atta boy!" to Lee Hamilton for calling Congress on the carpet for failing to provide meaningful and vigorous oversight.  Here's hoping for much better in January.)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com