James A. Baker III, who is heading up the congressionally-mandate Iraq Study Group, is a wise old fox who plays his cards close to his chest. But there are increasing signs that he may tell President Bush that it's time to pull the plug on his fool's mission in Iraq.
It's probably safe to say that nothing will be revealed publicly until after the November election, but Robert Dryfuss does some option weighing nonetheless in an American Prospect piece.
The money graf:
"According to participants, the ISG was initially considering four options, ranging from sending more troops to secure a political-military victory to making an orderly withdrawal and redeployment. Eventually, the only realistic options appeared to be either Option Three -- which called for staying the course, Bush-style, but making a series of significant adjustments and corrections -- and Option Four -- which can be summed up as redeployment out. In internal deliberations, many of the experts made it clear that Option Three was not really viable – that is, even after making a series of adjustments to staying-the-course, failure in Iraq would still be likely. That leaves Four. Whether Baker, a consummate realist and smooth practitioner of realpolitik, can swallow that, isn’t clear."