Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Bremer: I Was a Pentagon Scapegoat

Paul Bremer, the former head of the coalition provisional authority, has some harsh words about his year-long stay in Iraq in a new book.

A few highlights:

- Bremer called for more troops in Iraq, a request that fell on the deaf ears of Bush, Rumsfeld, and Rice.

- He calls U.S. allies "weak-kneed" and having a case of "cold feet."

- Of Spanish forces, he says: "They are sitting in tanks around the compound and doing nothing," he wrote, quoting from notes he made at the time. "It's a perfect outrage - I call it the 'coalition of the not-at-all-willing'."

- Mr Bremer says the Pentagon was guilty of "institutional inertia." He says he told then national security adviser Condoleeza Rice that "[w]e've become the worst of all things: an ineffective occupier."

- On the subject of the Iraqi exiles who formed the initial Iraqi governing council in 2003, he says "[t]hey couldn't organise a parade, let alone a country."