Ive been watching with foreboding and dread as the expectations for the Iraq Study Group reach a crescendo, as the chattering classes clearly expect it to deliver us from the mess in Iraq by some talismanic formula. After all, James Baker is leading it! (Insert appropriate ooohs and aaahs here.) But this is the same James Baker who found inpenetrable the ethnic and religious fault lines in the collapsing Soviet Union; suppose hell do any better understanding Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq?
The old Michael Kinsley pops up today on this very subject in his WaPo column, noting the AARP-qualified membership of the Iraq Study Group (former Senator Chuck Robb, age 67, is the youngster on the panel), with the wry comment: "This is one torch that has not been passed to a new generation. . . The chance that this group of aging white men, plus Vernon Jordan and Sandra Day OConnor, will come up with something original is not enormous."