Paul Bremer's Rough Ride

Powell, Bill; Ghosh, Aparisim; Allbritton, Christopher; Fattah, Hassan; Bennett, Brian; Calabresi, Massimo; MacPherson, Malcolm; Thompson, Mark; McAllister, J. F. O.
June 2004
Time;6/28/2004, Vol. 163 Issue 26, p44
This article is the inside story of how miscalculations at several critical moments left the Iraq occupation in chaos, with focus on Paul Bremer, who essentially governed Iraq from Baghdad's Republican Palace. Bremer was thrown into a mad 13-month dash to try to create a new government and something approaching stability out of the fractious void that Iraq became in the wake of the coalition overthrow of Saddam Hussein in the spring of 2003. If the U.S. occupation of Iraq has proved that Secretary of State Colin Powell was right to remind President Bush before the war that if the U.S. broke Iraq, the U.S. would own it, then Bremer was the guy who got handed the broom. In interviews with TIME, a range of U.S., British and Iraqi officials said Bremer's tenure yielded some important achievements but was also plagued by misjudgment, insensitivity and stubbornness in the face of spiraling unrest and steadily deteriorating Iraqi support for the occupation. A former top adviser who briefed Bremer every day says Bremer was in constant contact with his bosses at the Pentagon, talking daily with Washington officials like Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. But while Bremer had hoped to leave Iraq in triumph, the persisting unrest means few Iraqis will be sad to see him go.


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