Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Searching for Ponies

The Iraq Study Group says Iraq needs to find a pony:

WASHINGTON -- U.S. experts studying what to do next in Iraq said Tuesday that the Baghdad government must prove it deserves continued support.

"The Iraqi government must act," said Lee H. Hamilton, co-chair of the independent, bipartisan Iraq Study Group.

The 10-member panel is working at the request of Congress to advise lawmakers and the Bush administration on the way forward in the beleaguered Iraq campaign. The commission has been working quietly for six months, meeting with more than 100 U.S. and Iraqi military and civilian officials to assess progress in the war and make recommendations.

"Prime Minister (Nouri al-) Maliki has been in office since April and his government has been complete since June," Hamilton said at a downtown Washington news conference. "The people of Iraq are looking to him urgently for leadership."

Hamilton and his co-chair, former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, said Baghdad's government needs to secure a capital reeling in sectarian violence, make progress on national reconciliation, and provide electricity, water, and other services that Iraqis need.

"No one can expect miracles, but the people of Iraq have the right to expect immediate action" on those issues, Hamilton said.

"The next three months are critical," he said.

And, with that, we have another time unit. One Hamilton is equal to 1/2 a Friedman.

Conveniently, Hamilton's 1/2 Friedman comes due precisely when Joe Klein's "one last shot" comes due. Dec. 19 will be a busy day.