The Iraq Study Group will unveil their recommendations for Iraq within the hour. There has been plenty of criticism of the report before it has even been released.
In so much as the report urges the Administration to invite Iran and Syria to play a greater role in Iraq it should receive criticism. But other parts of the report that are said to reject partition of Iraq and as well as calls for immediate withdrawal should be praised.
It looks like it is going to be a mish-mash of some good and some bad. The Heritage Foundation’s James Carafano talks about the good, bad and ugly from the ISG.
UPDATE: Upon receiving the report this morning the President made the following remarks:
“I just received the Iraq Study Group report, prepared by a distinguished panel of our fellow citizens. I want to thank James Baker and Lee Hamilton and the panel members for spending a lot of time on this really difficult issue. And I thank you for coming into the White House today to give me a copy of this report.”I told the members that this report, called ‘The Way Forward,’ will be taken very seriously by this administration. This report gives a very tough assessment of the situation in Iraq. It is a report that brings some really very interesting proposals, and we will take every proposal seriously and we will act in a timely fashion.
“The commission is headed up to Congress, and I urge the members of Congress to take this report seriously. While they won’t agree with every proposal – and we probably won’t agree with every proposal – it, nevertheless, is an opportunity to come together and to work together on this important issue.
“The country, in my judgment, is tired of pure political bickering that happens in Washington, and they understand that on this important issue of war and peace, it is best for our country to work together. And I understand how difficult that is, but this report will give us all an opportunity to find common ground, for the good of the country – not for the good of the Republican Party or the Democratic Party, but for the good of the country.
“We can achieve long-lasting peace for this country, and it requires tough work. It also requires a strategy that will be effective. And we’ve got men and women of both political parties around this table who spent a lot of time thinking about the way forward in Iraq, and the way forward in the Middle East, and I can’t thank them enough for your time. You could be doing a lot of other things, you could have had a lot more simple life than to allow your government to call you back into service. But you did allow us to call you back into service, and you made a vital contribution to the country. Our fellow citizens have got to know that it is possible for people of goodwill to come together to help make recommendations on how to deal with a very serious situation.
“And we applaud your work. We take it very seriously, and we’ll act on it in a timely fashion. Thank you very much.”
UPDATE: More reactions coming in…
Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell:
“I think we all know there is no quick or easy way to complete the important mission in Iraq, and those who hoped this report would provide a get-done-quick solution will be disappointed. And though we won’t reach agreement overnight, this is an opportunity for us to work in a bipartisan way with Democrats and the White House and reach consensus on one of the most critical issues before the Congress.”
House Majority Leader John Boehner:
“The American people are understandably concerned about our mission in a post-Saddam Iraq. There have been many tough days since Iraq’s liberation and transition to a sovereign democracy, and there will be more ahead. But our goal has been and must continue to be victory over Iraq’s terrorist elements and their supporters - plain and simple. While advancing freedom and building democracies in a part of the world that has known nothing but tyranny is a difficult task, we have no choice but to win. We will not accomplish victory by setting arbitrary deadlines or negotiating with hostile governments.
“The recommendations from the Iraq Study Group offer a constructive review of the current situation in Iraq. There are also other ongoing reviews that will make recommendations and provide counsel to the Administration for moving forward. The American people rightly expect progress in Iraq, and all of these assessments should be given the due respect and consideration they deserve. But we must not retreat from our obligations to help stabilize Iraq, nor should we give in to the notion that it is in our interests to strike deals with our enemies.
“I was pleased that the ISG agreed with the President and congressional Republicans that arbitrary deadlines or premature withdrawals would embolden every terrorist in every corner of the world. Setting an arbitrary date for defeat is not in the security interests of the American people. Rooting out the terrorist elements in Iraq, and helping the Iraqis stabilize their democracy, will be another blow to the threat posed by radical terrorism to the U.S. and our allies around the globe.”
UPDATE: Here is the official report.
UPDATE: Senator Dick Durbin took the Senate floor moments ago saying that the report made clear that it was time to withdraw troops from Iraq.