Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Use "bullets" to highlight important facts

If ever there was a time to use "bullets" in writing, even a formal letter, it was Paul Bremer back in May 2003.
The dissolution of his chosen instrument of political domination, the Baath Party, has been very well received. Several Iraqis have told me, literally with tears in their eyes, that they have waited 30 years for this moment. While the resulting dismissal of public servants has caused some inefficiencies and griping, in most cases younger civil servants have expressed pleasure, even joy, at the measure. (At a minimum they are attracted to the prospect of promotion opportunities.) I will parallel this step with an even more robust measure dissolving Saddam's military and intelligence structures to emphasize that we mean business. We are seeing signs that the outlawed organizations are behind some of the street violence here.
It seems that President Bush missed the bit about dissolving the Iraqi military.
In an interview with Robert Draper, author of the new book, “Dead Certain,” Mr. Bush sounded as if he had been taken aback by the decision, or at least by the need to abandon the original plan to keep the army together.

“The policy had been to keep the army intact; didn’t happen,” Mr. Bush told the interviewer. When Mr. Draper asked the president how he had reacted when he learned that the policy was being reversed, Mr. Bush replied, “Yeah, I can’t remember, I’m sure I said, “This is the policy, what happened?’”
And this is the same book that quotes the President as saying he plans on making a slew of speeches to replenish the coffers.
Jimmy Carter has dedicated his life after the White House to conflict resolution around the world. Presidents George Bush the elder and Bill Clinton have campaigned together on behalf of communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina. So how does President George Bush junior imagine spending his retirement years?

"I can just envision getting in the car, getting bored, going down to the ranch," he says. He also has big plans for making money. "I'll give some speeches, to replenish the ol' coffers," says Mr Bush, who is already estimated to be worth $20m. "I don't know what my dad gets - it's more than 50-75 [thousand dollars a speech], and "Clinton's making a lot of money".
Glad to see he has his eye on the ball still.

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