Glenn Greenwald is pretty pessimistic about the contents and implications of B-H:
Some commenters seem to be trying to find some good in what James Baker did here -- as though the Baker-Hamilton Report will help end the war. It won't.
In 2002, it was clear that the President was intent on invading and occupying Iraq, and all sorts of people endorsed that central idea but then -- like James Baker or Tom Friedman -- added their own caveats about how they thought it should be done. That didn't matter. Anything other than unambiguous, emphatic opposition to the invasion counted as support for the war. It fueled, rather than impeded, Bush's ability to invade at will.
Exactly the same is true now. Anyone who does not clearly advocate withdrawal sooner rather than later in accordance with a clear timetable is, in effect, endorsing the status quo. Anything muddled or any "plan" which calls for our ongoing, indefinite presence in Iraq (as the Report does) is tantamount to support for Bush to have license to do what he wants. There is clear language in the Baker-Hamilton Report that warns against the dangers of withdrawal (just as one would expect from a Commission comprised of war advocates).
Therefore, the Report will be used as an instrument against withdrawal and thus, by definition, in support of our ongoing occupation -- exactly what the President wants to do and will do. Just as was true for those who failed to oppose the invasion, by failing to loudly and clearly oppose our ongoing occupation (and, if anything, by clearly endorsing it, even if lamentably), the Report does nothing other than enable the ongoing occupation.
Under the circumstances, one either advocates withdrawal or one does not. The Report did not.
It's really just as simple as that.
My own superficial read was that (1) the report was a pretty damning indictment of the Bush Administration's Iraq war policy and its foreign policy more broadly; but (2) there's not much that can be done about that now except (a) begin the process of shifting our military resources away from combat towards an advisory role; (b) enlist Syria and Iran in an effort to stabilize Iraq through a recognition of what each country stands to lose--if anything--from a failed Iraqi state or civil war; and (c) get on with the business of reconciling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And hope a pony comes out of all of this.
Still, even if Greenwald and others are right that the commission's recommendations are or will ultimately only give cover to the status quo, how is that supposed to benefit the Republican Party and it's 2008 candidate? I can't imagine the conversation on Iraq is going to be more upbeat in 2008 than it is now, which suggests to me that, ideally, the Republican Party, John McCain or no, will be stuck with Iraq around its neck in 2008 and the Democratic candidate will, again ideally, be free to campaign on that premise.