CRITICAL RECEPTION TO LATER BOOKS BY THE IRAQ STUDY GROUP
The Way Forward Is Over Here. Seriously. (2007)
One can't blame the ISG for trying to recapture the magic- and sales – of their debut work so it's not surprising that this volume covers territory familiar to readers. Truth be told, it's the exact same book but with a flashing LED read-out cover, several small horns attached to it that sound whenever movement is detected in the room, numerous pre-attached post-it notes indicating the most urgent passages, and a free video game where you get to be a baseball playing robot. It is hoped that the president will notice this new edition and read it.
Sitcoms: The Way Forward – A New Approach (2008)
After seeing strong sales but disappointing real world results from their previous works, the Iraq Study Group takes on the perilous state of the American situation comedy. Beset with the ongoing and worsening threats of reality shows, medical dramas, and a deadly new strain of reality medical drama, the state of the sitcom is bad and worsening. The group's ideas are sometimes distressingly meek (hold summit conferences with networks, invite Michael Bay to the bargaining table) and sometimes baldly self-serving (cast Lawrence Eagleburger as a wacky neighbor on "Coach: The Next Generation", create sitcom called "What About Vernon Jordan?"). Taxpayers are right to wonder if their tax dollars have been well spent.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays: The Way Forward – A New Approach (2010)
While it's very possible that Sandra Day O'Connor's grandson is a fine baseball player, the Iraq Study Group seems to be losing focus this time out. Ed Meese's knowledge of minor league economics is strong as is Leon Panetta's lengthy chapter on proper bunting technique and both offer hope to fans of the beleaguered franchise. But the overall tone of the report is bleak. The no longer publicly funded group suggests stemming the flow of bats, balls, and other equipment into the Tampa-St. Petersburg area while simultaneously launching a series of phased trades to disperse players. The group also seems to fail to take into account the possibility of Tampa native and strongman Jose Canseco regaining power. The photo section of Eagleburger shagging fly balls feels tacked on and is in fact difficult to look at.
Are You There God? It's Me, Lawrence Eagleburger (2011)
The rest of the group still includes their names but there's only one member truly behind this atrocious coming-of-age story. The fact that the "woman's special time" section was not removed in editing is proof that there is no God.
The Iraq Study Group Report on the Iraq Study Group: A New Way Forward (2012)
After widely reported acrimony between members of the once close-kit group and ill-advised offshoot projects (Charles Robb's emo-core concept album, Allan Simpson's backyard wrestling league), the ISG has found itself at a crossroads. Should they disband or try to keep the team together? Sadly, they chose the latter. Meeting in a trailer specially airlifted to the featureless great plain where Iraq once stood, the members crafted a series of recommendations for how the group can continue making recommendations. But their string of critical and commercial failures, the advancing age and declining health of the members, and their lack of government funding leading to abject poverty, make for a tough ride on the road to new ideas. The matching jumpsuits sound like fun and everyone loves trust walks but where will the money come from for the underwater fortress and the rocket bikes? Sadly, these ravings are proof enough to anyone still doubting that the ISG's time has passed.
Iraq Study Group Babies: Journey to Lollipop Island (2017)
Everyone's favorite group of adorable pint-sized future-ex-government insiders are on a magical journey to help a lost candy bird find her way back home. Based on the #1 animated series in the world, this is sure to delight toddlers, preschoolers, and select members of the Project for a New American Century and the Brookings Institution. Will Sandy, Jimmy, Lee H. Hamilton and the rest of the gang get the bird home before deadly sectarian violence rips Lollipop Island apart? Read and find out!
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