Thursday, August 2, 2012

L Paul Bremmer as exemplar UPDATED

Seriously. Any observer of the Iraq War should readily acknowledge the deleterious effect L. Paul Bremmer III had as the administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority. Specifically his de-Ba'athification policy and the wholesale firing of the regime's military and police. I was in Baghdad the days these were announced and they were not good days. Previously, we had enjoyed significant security in Baghdad (I couldn't say the same about the Iraqis unfortunately) and what seemed to be widespread support of the people. The day the Army was disbanded saw the first of many thousands of attacks on the route from Baghdad into the airport, a grenade attack on a HMMWV that burned the vehicle to the ground with no U.S. casualties. Attacks against Coalition Forces only grew from there and a good amount of the blame for that lies with Bremmer.

Today Foreign Policy reported that Ambassador Bremmer has retired to Vermont as of 2007 to spend his days painting watercolors oil on canvas*. From an artistic point of view, the paintings are marginally interesting - not the best I've seen but certainly not worse than many of the so-called art I've seen for sale in recent months. The most important aspect of this is thus: a man who failed in his public service duties, failed on an astronomical scale, has removed himself public service and does not pundificate on public service matters.  I have nothing but disdain for what this man did to Iraq, based purely on his political ideology, but I respect that he acknowledges his failure and does not attempt to repeat his past mistakes. How refreshingly rare.  Good for you Mr. Bremmer.

Here are some other people, to picture but a few, who should follow Mr. Bremmer's example and give serious thought to moving to rural corners of the United States to take up the production of mediocre arts and crafts instead of doubling down on decade-old mistakes. Our country would be better off without your thoughts on how to run it - you have already tried and failed.

* The FP piece said he was doing watercolors. A closer examination of Mr. Bremmer's website shows he paints primarily with oil on canvas.

UPDATE: I may have jumped the gun here in praising Mr. Bremmer. Because I came across this today. Stick to painting Bremmer.


  1. This is a terrible game of bingo.

  2. I think there's room for a few more on that dance card...

    1. There sure are - this is a sampling. There's only so much time I want to spend looking for these guys on Google Images.