Newsweek has a story about Paul Bremer. It goes beyond his widely reported remarks regarding not having enough troops to discuss what many think was one of the most serious errors of the war: the decision to disbanded the army, driving many former soldiers into the opposition. A conversation supposedly took place between Bremer and his predecessor, Jay Garner, in which Garner tried to convince Bremer that this would be a bad idea:
Garner then said: “Before you announce this thing let’s do all the pros and cons of this, because we are going to have a hell of a lot of problems with it. There are a hell of a lot more cons than there are pros. Let’s line them all up then get on the phone to [Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld.” Bremer replied: “I don’t have any choice. I have to do this.” Garner then protested further, but Bremer cut him off. “The president told me that de-Baathification comes before the immediate needs of the Iraqi people.”
Kevin Drum picks up on this, and asks why the president could possibly have felt that “de-Baathification comes before the immediate needs of the Iraqi people”? His answer? Ahmed Chalabi.