PEACE IN OUR TIME….A “former high-level Democratic executive branch appointee” talks about James Baker’s appointment over at Talking Points Memo:

Only the naive can think his mission ? special part-time job (so conflicts of interest will not need to be disclosed), with plane, staff, and direct report to President ? is about renegotiating Iraq?s debt obligations, as if he were restructuring a company?s balance sheet….If Iraq could be liquidated, it would be. But instead the proprietors need to abandon it.

Finding a way to separate Bush and the United States from Iraq is this latest, and hardest, of the Baker rescue missions.

….Baker knows ? as does presumably the vigilant Rove who has perhaps arranged this supplanting of Rumsfeld, Powell, Bremer, and Rice ? what it will take to get this Administration out of Iraq. Baker has to pull off a trifecta: (1) involve Europeans (and perhaps Indians) in an indefinitely long occupation of a country they did not want invaded, (2) bring in enough non-American troops to create an appearance of stability by next summer, and (3) enable President Bush to announce with a straight face at the Republican Convention next September that ?progress? will permit him to withdraw virtually all American troops soon after his second inauguration.

I’m still not completely sold that this is really what’s happening ? where are those European troops going to come from? ? but I admit there’s some awfully good evidence that this is the case, and my skepticism is definitely weakening. Read the whole post for more.

But you know what the real pisser is? He’ll probably get away with it. The warhawks will duly criticize the pullout, but then they’ll shrug and decide that Bush is a good and decent man with his heart in the right place anyway ? and we certainly can’t afford a Democrat in the White House no matter how many times Bush has screwed us over. Besides, we could have done a lot better if only all those liberals hadn’t spent so much time carping during the past year.

And the rest of the country will shrug right along. Hey, he tried, and Saddam is gone, isn’t he? It’s peace in our time, and who can vote against that?

Mission accomplished.

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