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The Iraq Study Group's Recommendations Were DOA on Fox

Reported by Melanie - December 6, 2006 -

If the first half hour (the "business end") of Your World w/Neil Cavuto today (December 6, 2006) is any indication, Fox News considers the proposals made by the Iraq Study Group, "just dead" or, "a waste of time," as Cavuto so succinctly put it.

Before airing a clip of an interview Brit Hume will air this evening with James Baker and Lee Hamilton, Cavuto promoted upcoming segments by advertising that the audience would hear from a "military colonel who says take a look at the members on this study group panel and take this report for what it is, a joke," and "why some fear listening to these guys" might hit you at the pump.

After the Hume clip, Cavuto introduced a seething Lindsey Graham (R-SC):

"I appreciate" the panel members' service. "I appreciate their recommendations but I am in this thing to win. I believe it's the central battle front in the war on terror. If you believe that, you throw everything you have at it as a nation to win. We have never had enough troops."

Graham continued: "Those who are responsible for letting the American military get to the point that we can't generate 20 to 50,000 troops to defend this country -- we need to investigate who those people are, why they let this happen and hold them accountable." Somebody, "needs to be held accountable, court-martialed or resign because I do believe we need more troops."

Cavuto asked Graham if the "report was a waste of time," and Graham said it wasn't a "waste of time," that "these are great Americans," and they "highlighted the fact that we're not doing well."

Next came Col. Ralph Peters who was appalled that the panel didn't contain a high-ranking military officer because, "the ISG panel has no idea how to fight a war." He said Jim Baker, "very carefully structured this panel so he could control it, so no one else on the panel could claim the regional expertise he has and he's manipulated it brilliantly." What you're seeing, "really, is Jim Baker's report, despite all the consensus." Peters said, "this is the old, discredited Saudi Arabian, Arabist view of the world," and "to be in the middle of a grave series of wars and to have this panel without a single retired military officer to lend his common sense to the conclusions seems ludicrous to me." He said "they need generals who understand intelligence, logistics, organization, strategy."

Cavuto pointed out that Baker and Hamilton said they did consult with some generals but Peters said he knew that "at least some generals who spoke to the panel strongly disagreed with their positions," like the "crazy" idea that we could, "just leave trainers behind and a few logistic bases and pull out most of our combat brigades."

Peters said the report did get one thing right, that "the Iraqis have to do this for themselves" and if they don't, "we have to start penalizing them for leaving us with the burden."

Next came Steve Forbes and Tom Petrie who warned that talking to Iran and/or Syria could "lead to $100.00 oil." Forbes said that would "create an environment where you get a crisis, where oil prices are going to shoot up in a crisis," and it "does not deal, in fact, it postpones the inevitable showdown with Iran over nuclear weapons."

Wrapping it up, Cavuto said the "dirty little secret" of the war was that, "even though many in the Arab community might rant and rave about our being there, they actually like our being there because we add some element of stability in an unstable region as far as containing Iraq."

(The emphasis added is mine.)

Comment: If you believe, as I do, that this one-sided barrage of propaganda hints at what the Bush administration is thinking, it looks like we're back to "stay the course."