Mess-o-potamia

27 Aug

There is an interesting article by Roger Cohen of the New York Times regarding the appointment of L. Paul Bremer as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority.

On 6th of May 2003, Bush was expected to announce that a grand assembly (similar to an Afghan loya jirga) was going to be convened in Iraq to fast-forward a home grown provisional government along with Bremer to run things. The convenor of the loya jirga was to be Zalmay Khalilzad (who is the US Ambassador to the UN).

Instead, Bush had announced that Bremer was going to run the country by himself. Both Powell and Rice were unaware of the change in tactics.

Powell has said:

 

 

“The plan was for Zal to go back. He was the one guy who knew this place better than anyone. I thought this was part of the deal with Bremer. But with no discussion, no debate, things changed. I was stunned”.

The article goes on to state that the insurgency by the Iraqis took hold after the appointment of Bremer – that the insurgency now had “a clear target: the guy in the Timberlands”.

Bremer then went on to disband the Iraqi army (creating a pool of insurgents), and when 9 billion was missing from funds to rebuild Iraq, he responded that people should not worry, as it was Iraqi and not US money.

If the plan to hold the loya jirga was followed, things might have been better for the Iraqis.

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