<blockquote>We hope that the leaders of the United States and Iraq will find a way to stop what seems to be an irrevocable slide into all out civil war. Given their repeated failures to do so, and how badly the situation has deteriorated by the time this report went to press, however, we believe the United States and its allies must begin thinking about how to deal with the consequences of massive failure in Iraq. - <a href=http://www.brook.edu/fp/saban/analysis/jan2007iraq_civilwar.htm>The Brookings Institution</a></blockquote> So begins The Brookings Institution's report on Iraq's probable future. The report paints a far different picture than those provided by President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, and the other architects of the invasion and occupation in Iraq before they launched us on this course to a quagmire. Even noe, a distinct sense of unreality seems to permeate their statements and actions. <blockquote>"The notion that it would take several hundred thousand American troops just seems outlandish.” - Paul Wolfowitz, 03/04/03</blockquote> The Brookings Institution report suggests that, excepting Kurdistan, some 450,000 troops would be needed in order to quell the violence in Iraq. And to think, General Shinseki was sacked for suggesting that such numbers would be necessary to secure Iraq. Furthermore, the number of troops Chimpy McPresident is sending into Iraq in an attempt to quell the sectarian violence falls far short of the number suggested by both General Shinseki and the Brookings Institution just in January. In either case, Chimpy's plan seems doomed from the outset. In order to contain the spill-over and blow-back from the coming civil-war, a number of different options are offered. <blockquote> * Don't try to pick winners; * Avoid active support for partition (for now); * Don't dump the problem on the United Nations; * Pull back from Iraqi population centers; * Provide support to Iraq's neighbors; * Bolster regional stability; * Dissuade foreign intervention; * Lay down "red lines" to Iran; * Establish a Contact Group; * Prepare for oil supply disruptions; * Manage the Kurds; * Strike at terrorist facilities; * Consider establishing safe havens or "catch basins" along Iraq's borders.</blockquote> Given that Chimpy completely dismissed the suggestions offered by the Iraq Study Group, any chances that the Administration will heed these suggestions are just about nil. The sad fact is, that President Bush locked into some manichean view of his own correctness and righteousness when it comes to Iraq. Unable and unwilling to hear those voices which could guide America to a path out of Iraq and a broader conflict in the region, he listens only to the voices of his syncophants and, of course, those voices in his head. Not exactly a plan for success, is it? So how many more American soldiers must die to salve Chimpy's ego? How many more innocent Iraqis must die to give lie to this Administration's failed policies?