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The Responsibility Era

PERLE: I think the most serious, the seminal mistake, was getting into an occupation. The day Baghdad fell, we should have handed political authority to the Iraqis. . . . Instead, we sent in 8,000 Americans to administer Iraq like you'd administer Montgomery County. . . . MINITER: Bremer was a mistake? PERLE: A disaster.
Washington Post
Both State Department and Pentagon officials said they supported the appointment, a rare moment of unity for the battling factions of the administration. Richard N. Perle, a close adviser to the Pentagon's civilian leadership, said Bremer's reputation for toughness should help him in a job that has little precedent. Then Perle needled the man from Foggy Bottom. "He's aggressive by foreign-service standards," Perle said. "I've seen hummingbirds that are aggressive by foreign-service standards."
SUAREZ: Richard Perle, did Paul Bremer's plan sound right to you both in its focus and spending priorities? PERLE: Yes, it did. . . . What we are attempting to do in Iraq is precisely restore essential services, as Ambassador Bremer, indicated provide security, and open the way to a decent Iraqi government and a private Iraqi economy.
videoJason Zengerle