Tuesday, October 05, 2004

L. Paul "Jerry" Bremer is nothing but a toady.
The former U.S. official who governed Iraq after the invasion said yesterday that the United States made two major mistakes: not deploying enough troops in Iraq and then not containing the violence and looting immediately after the ouster of Saddam Hussein.

Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, administrator for the U.S.-led occupation government until the handover of political power on June 28, said he still supports the decision to intervene in Iraq but said a lack of adequate forces hampered the occupation and efforts to end the looting early on.

"We paid a big price for not stopping it because it established an atmosphere of lawlessness," he said yesterday in a speech at an insurance conference in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. "We never had enough troops on the ground." . . .

In a Sept. 17 speech at DePauw University, Bremer said he frequently raised the issue within the administration and "should have been even more insistent" when his advice was spurned because the situation in Iraq might be different today. "The single most important change -- the one thing that would have improved the situation -- would have been having more troops in Iraq at the beginning and throughout" the occupation, Bremer said, according to the Banner-Graphic in Greencastle, Ind.
Give me a break. Bremer was the man who disbanded the Iraqi army. Bremer is the right-wing ideologue who believed that The Privatization of Everything was the solution to jump-starting the Iraqi economy. Bremer was the man who imposed economic "shock therapy" upon Iraq in a version more stark and debilitating than anything tried in Poland or Russia -- and it is this shock therapy which has contributed to the very insurrection which Bremer suggests has its origins only in the break-down of law and order in spring 2003.

In fact, it turns out that Jerry Bremer had nothing at all to do with the multitudinous disasters which came out of the sixteen month CPA rule over Iraq.
He also disputed criticism that the Bush administration had no plans for postwar Iraq.

"There was planning, but planning for a situation that didn't arise," he said, including a large-scale humanitarian or refugee crisis. "Could it have been done better? Frankly, I didn't spend a lot of time looking back."
No mention that the State Department did indeed have a post-war occupation plan that was scrapped by the neocons and Bremer, or that Bremer's top aides in Iraq were all right-wing flunkies (e.g. Republican fund-raiser Thomas Foley and later Ari Fleischer's little brother Michael) with no relevant skills whatsoever.

Bremer is not a neocon per se but is certainly a fellow traveler, no doubt about it. He is a Heritage Foundation favorite with ties to Ed Meese and Bill Bennett. Bremer's tepid dissent from the party line is but more evidence of rats trying not so much to flee a sinking ship as to convince us all the ship in fact is not sinking, that "mistakes were made" in the past by an unidentifiable "them" which anyway have no import for the present, and that the simple fact of the ship taking on water is only evidence that the ship is winning the battle against the Forces of the Sea and anyone who doubts that is nothing better than a rat -- I mean, a traitor.

Oh, and just in case any job openings at the State Department crop up in 2005, Jerry's resume is available . . .

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