Crooks and Liars points out the obvious–that not one member of the Iraq Study Group is a Middle East expert. James Baker (remember Florida 2000?), Lawrence Eagleburger, Alan Simpson, Charles Robb, William Perry, and Sandra Day O’Connor have a lot of expertise among them, but none of it has anything to do with the Middle East.
If this sounds familiar, it should. The people planning the invasion of Iraq–the “cakewalk” group–had little understanding of Iraq’s religious sects and its divided culture. Now the emphasis is on bi-partisanship. Nothing wrong with that, to be sure, but wouldn’t it help if at least one person understood the territory?