From today's TPM

Article about the Baker ("Elections, in Baker’s experience, are not about fairly casting and counting votes; they are about who gets to rule" yeah, that Baker) mission to Iraq.

"Of the many skills of Jim Baker, one is to assess a problem realistically and solve it ruthlessly and effectively. This is the same person who contrived to devalued the dollar at the Plaza Hotel in 1985, and thereby cunningly put the banana peel under the world’s second leading economy, letting Japan slip into boom and bust from which it is only now emerging.

So 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."