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IRAQ 'APPEASE' SQUEEZE ON W.

* PANEL KISSES UP TO IRAN & SYRIA
* PLAN WOULD PULL TROOPS OUT IN '08

NILES LATHEM Post Correspondent

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December 7, 2006 -- What do you think of the report’s recommendations? Click the discussion board link below the photo to post your comments.

Click here for the Iraq Study Group Report (PDF)

WASHINGTON - The Iraq Study Group report delivered to President Bush yesterday contains 79 separate recommendations - but not one that explains how American forces can defeat the terrorist insurgents, only ways to bring the troops home.

Declaring the situation "grave and deteriorating," the high-powered commission proposed the United States talk directly to terror abettors Iran and Syria to get their cooperation, and commit to removing U.S. combat troops in early 2008.

In a major policy report presented to Bush and Congress, the panel also recommended taking a harder line with the fledgling Iraqi government by threatening to reduce or cut off military and financial support unless it does more to crack down on militia death squads.

Reaction to the much-anticipated report was swift:

* President Bush called it a "tough" assessment of U.S. involvement in Iraq and said he would treat all of its recommendations seriously, but he didn't publicly embrace any of the proposals.

* White House spokesman Tony Snow later rejected the call for America to have open dialogue with enemy Iran, saying that could happen only after the Islamic state halted uranium enrichment.

* Democrats in Congress heartily embraced the study, saying it offered Bush some good ideas, and put the burden on him to accept some of them.

* Republicans generally had a polite but noncommittal response.

* In Iraq, U.S. troops said they didn't believe that Baghdad's own forces were prepared yet to take over security, and questioned whether GIs could come home in 2008, as the report urged.

Meanwhile, as the report was being debated, 10 American troops were killed in Iraq in four separate attacks amid worsening violence.

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