On CNN's Sunday show, Wolf Blitzer asked Ahmed C. to 'name the person who failed leading to the present problems in Iraq.' Ahmed said Paul Bremer, 'our procounsul' there for the first year after overthrowing Saddam. Ahmed C. went on to say that his insistence on seeing violent acts as isolated incidents led to a growing insurrection. I ran into someone who had been there who told me that a lot of people died there that you don't hear about. Prominent Republicans got their children a spot on Paul Bremer's staff. Sometimes they would decide to go off on a road trip and not come back. The implication with the juxtaposition of these 2 events is that indeed it was true that there was a 'party line' as it were, which misled these people about the true tactical situation in Iraq. Kissinger asked about Chalabi's statement said that Bremer had worked with him and Bremer would 'never do anything on his own,' which just shows how cleverly Ahmed C. made his statement. In controlling a school, the Jesuits, an heir to consuls, say you have to exert your biggest control beginning the school year. Which just makes the debate about what the Army Chief of Staff said was the proper figure to occupy the country and what really happened to him something of greater interest. Greg Jaffe in Monday's WSJ, some kind of subscription required, had an article on the lessons of counterinsurgency, in part form VN, as the Army is now looking at it which would overlay this discussion.
Sociology Professor Michael Schwartz points out that Iraq was a statist economy and our shutting them down, refusing to even allow state companies to bid on reconstruction projects, for example, was an act of creative destruction producing the latter without the former. The department chairman over my field liked to quote Napoleon in his aphorism 'Careers for Talents.' It looks like what we needed was someone at or somewhat below the rank, present or retired, of Central Committee, China to manage the transition from a statist to a capitalist economy.