Bremer Speaks on DNO and Galbraith

November 25, 2009 at 11:12 pm | Posted in Turkmens | Leave a comment
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Posted by Reidar Visser on November 25, 2009

In its continuing coverage of the DNO/KRG/Galbraith nexus in Iraq, the Norwegian business daily Dagens Næringsliv has landed a rare interview with the ruler of Iraq in the CPA era from 2003 to 2004, Ambassador L. Paul Bremer. In the interview, published in the hard-copy of the paper on 20 and 21 November, Bremer reflects on Peter Galbraith’s many simultaneous roles in Iraq in 2004, and in particular comments on sovereignty issues related to the signing of DNO’s contract with the KRG.

Bremer – who to a considerable extent has been out of the limelight since he left Iraq and who informs DN that he is currently spending much time pursuing his favourite pastime of painting landscapes – dismisses Galbraith’s pursuits in Iraq as “unethical” and adds that he himself was personally subjected to a two-year ban on business activity in Iraq subsequent to his tenure at the CPA. This characterisation of Galbraith by Bremer is perhaps not terribly surprising given the well-known personal enmity between the two men, and many observers will probably also want to emphasise the multiple ethical questions that pertain to the CPA itself under Bremer’s own leadership and indeed his whole program of using ethno-sectarian quotas as the key for shaping institutions of government in the “new Iraq”. As far as ethics are concerned, what is now happening in the US mainstream media is actually a lot more interesting than what Bremer thinks about Galbraith: An increasing number of leading intellectual forums in the US that used to support Galbraith – including the mighty New York Review of Books – are now following the lead of the NYT in issuing various forms of apologies to their readers for having given space in their columns for Galbraith without at the same time providing full disclosure of his business involvement in Iraq. Conversely, his remaining support base seems to be growing distinctly rural in outlook, and now appears to be limited to angry letters in his defence printed in publications like the Rutland Herald and the Brattleboro Reformer, both based in his home state of Vermont.

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