I just cannot decide. There are so many choices. First there was Bush the eternal prevaricator extending the hand of conciliation to those who agree with our goals. Next Ashcroft said that his mission was accomplished--that of reducing the terror threat, which he proved by lowering our color from orange to yellow. Then there was this from Paul Bremer, former procurator of the IPA:
Bremer: "Just Outcome" Possible in IraqLAST UPDATE: 11/10/2004 6:08:31 AMPosted By: Jim Forsyth
(SAN ANTONIO) -- The US diplomat who ran Iraq for 14 months said today that despite the current unrest in that country, he remains convinced that the US effort in Iraq is a 'noble undertaking' and the end result will be 'a just outcome for the Iraqi people.'
Former Civilian Administrator L. Paul Bremer III told a corporate real estate group here today that the US has already rescued Iraq from the 'spectacular economic mismanagement' of thirty years of dictatorship, and begun to turn around a 'chaotic system' in which inflation was running at 115,000 percent a year, and expenditures on everything from health care to public infrastructure was gradually declining.
Bremer, who left Iraq when the Interim Iraqi Government was sworn in in late June, declined to comment on current developments in that country, but he did defend one very controversial decision which many critics of US Iraqi policy blame for many of the current problems, the decision to disband Saddam Hussein's Iraqi army and bar officials of Saddam's Baath Party from holding any role in that country's future military or civilian administration.
"This was very important because it was a signal that not only had we thrown out Saddam, but that the coalition intended to help the Iraqis create a new Iraq," he said. "That was my most important and symbolic decision."
Bremer said he would sum up his 14 months as civilian administrator by saying he served as a 'psychotherapist to a nation suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.'
The career diplomat also criticized US officials back home for attempting to micromanage the rebuilding of Iraq, a process he called the 'eight thousand mile screwdriver.'
He said at one point he had to call National Security Adviser Condolleezza Rice and ask her to stop National Security Agency staffers from giving orders to his employees behind his back.
"I told her that if they had any tasks they felt should be performed, that they should task me and I would give that assignment to the people I felt could best fulfill it," Bremer said, adding that after his conversation with Rice, the 'problem stopped.'
Bremer also criticized US media coverage of the Iraq operation, saying once that during his tenure, 18,000 reconstruction projects were completed, from rebuilding schools to installing generators and repairing water systems.
"These were the good news stories you never read about in US papers," he said.
Security at Bremer's speech before Core Net Global, an organization of commercial real estate professionals, was extraordinarily tight, with four plain clothed security agents and at least two uniformed San Antonio police officers ringing the stage where he spoke. Bremer dodged two attempts by insurgents in Iraq to murder him during his tenure.
While Bremer said he 'has no time for the rear view mirror' when it comes to critics of his administration, one thing that he is afraid will retard efforts to bring true democracy to Iraq is the tendency of Iraqi leaders to see it as a 'zero sum society.'
"Each group sees the other group's advantage as it's disadvantage, and a victory for me is your loss," he said.
After saying he would not comment on the US military effort in Iraq, Bremer said, "I of course am a strong supporter of the liberation of the Iraqi people, I feel strongly that it was the correct decision."
Please, a word of caution. Do not practice psychotherapy w/o a degree and a license to do so. Freud must be spinning around his cigar.