It totals 96 pages, not counting its introductory letter from Secretary Baker and Congressman Hamilton, the executive summary, and the many appendices, which includes such helpful information as the fact that the ISG talked to 15 senators (not one of whom was elected for the first time since 9/11, creating a generation bias in the interviews, one which appears replicated in the 10 House members interviewed.,) and that of the 21 foreign officials interviewed, only David Abramovich, the Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was consulted from the state most threatened by the Iranian mullahs and Syrian thugs the ISG demands the US appeal to.
Incredibly, the ISG did not consult with anyone from the democratic government of Lebanon, even as the ISG urges us to reach an understanding with Syria.
Of the 43 “former officials and experts” consulted –including Mark Danner of the New York Review of Books, Thomas Friedman, Leslie Gelb, Sandy Berger, Anthony Lake, Ken Pollack, Thomas Ricks, and George Will– the ISG did not find it necessary to talk with, say, Victor Davis Hanson, Lawrence Wright, Robert Kaplan, Mark Steyn, Michael Ledeen, Reuel Marc Gerecht, or Christopher Hitchens. The ISG did talk with Bill Kristol. I wonder how long that sit down lasted.
The report combines an almost limitless condescension towards the “Iraqi sovereign government,” even going so far as to lay out a timetable for its exact legislative program for the next six months, with a cavalier indifference to the Syrian death squads operating in Lebanon, and the certain nature of the Iranian regime –still, on this very day, hosting the anti-Holocaust conference.
It is a wonder, this bit of appeasement virtuosity, and I think it will gain for its authors all the lasting fame that has attached itself to the name Samuel Hoare, and his brainchild, the Hoare-Laval Agreement.
Update: Ian Schwartz notes (with the help of an accompanying video) that paranoia strikes deep with the ISG:
During the coverage of today