Report: Baker Commission Says No Win In Iraq

News out of the NY Sun that is stunning for its origin if not its content:

A commission formed to assess the Iraq war and recommend a new course has ruled out the prospect of victory for America, according to draft policy options shared with The New York Sun by commission officials.

The 10-member Baker Commission, you will recall, is headed by Bush 41 Secretary of State James Baker. According to the Sun, it is considering two options: "Stability First" and "Redeploy and Contain." (Apparently, "stay the course" and "cut and run" were already taken.)


More telling, however, is the ruling out of two options last month. One advocated minor fixes to the current war plan but kept intact the long-term vision of democracy in Iraq with regular elections. The second proposed that coalition forces focus their attacks only on Al Qaeda and not the wider insurgency.

Instead, the commission is headed toward presenting President Bush with two clear policy choices that contradict his rhetoric of establishing democracy in Iraq. The more palatable of the two choices for the White House, "Stability First," argues that the military should focus on stabilizing Baghdad while the American Embassy should work toward political accommodation with insurgents. The goal of nurturing a democracy in Iraq is dropped.

The second option -- "Redeploy and Contain" -- apparently refers to a phased withdrawal.

The commission will not publish its final report until after next month's elections. (The classic dilemma: Publish before and be accused of politicizing it ... publish afterwards and be accused of withholding it for political reasons.)

(Thanks to ThinkProgress for flagging this.)