David Brooks, on PBS NewsHour July 6th: “And, then, the final thing, the problem with the Iraq Study Group — and Mark is absolutely right. I think the Bush administration bitterly regrets not embracing that now.”Ah, but where was David on the ISG back in the day, you know, when it counted most? Here he was on January 11th of this year, busily poo-pooing the ISG’s findings (“pulling a tooth slowly”), just as debate had been raging as to whether Bush should adopt same: “So we are stuck with the Bush proposal as the only serious plan on offer.”
Times change. The ISG report was, in my view, inadequate when it came out, but would have offered movement in the right direction. Now that the more perceptive hawks like Brooks are ready to embrace it, however, it’s been essentially overtaken by events. And that’s the tragic cycle we’ve seen in the Iraq debate — a conventional wisdom that’s perennially nine months or so behind the curve.