Bremer and Sisyphus

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 8, 2003 | Go to article overview

Bremer and Sisyphus


Byline: Arnold Beichman, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

In the heart of today's Berlin there is a wide boulevard called Clay Allee. It is named after Gen. Lucius D. Clay, the military governor of the American sector in postwar West Germany. As a tribute to the American proconsul, he who in 1949 led the successful resistance to the Soviet blockade with the historic Berlin airlift, the citizens of Berlin installed after his death a plaque on which were incised six words: "Wir danken dem Bewahrer unserer Freiheit" (We thank the defender of our Freedom).

It is highly doubtful that a shari will ever be named or similar tribute paid to Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III, our civilian envoy to Iraq, assigned to direct its reconstruction and its transition, if possible, to democracy. Whatever happens, Mr. Bremer is today by far the most important American in the Middle East just as Douglas MacArthur was once the most important American in Asia. As it once was MacArthur's task to transform a defeated Japan into a constitutional democracy without delegitimizing the emperor, it is Mr. Bremer's task as Iraq's civilian administrator to transform a defeated dictatorship into a secular democracy in a part of the world where American power is in inverse proportion to American popularity.

During the early years of the war in Vietnam, a neologism was born: to "wham," an acronym for the phrase, "winning the hearts and minds." The process was called "whamming," meaning trying to win all the Vietnamese, north and south, to welcome America's participation in a war against a communist takeover.

And that will be Mr. Bremer's task, whamming the people of Iraq to welcome Saddam Hussein's defeat, achieved primarily by American might.

For had it not been for President Bush, Saddam Hussein would still be around digging up new gravesites for Iraqi men, women and even children. MacArthur was able to function without concern for hostile neighbors since most of Asia was delighted at Japan's defeat. (China did not go communist until 1949).

No such luck for Mr. Bremer. As Joshua Muravchik wrote in the Weekly Standard: "Never has the United States confronted so much hostility and distrust."

He cited Gallup polls in Muslim countries a few months after September 11, 2001, well before the second Iraq war, which showed abysmally low figures favoring the United States. In Turkey, a longtime ally of the U.S., the "very unfavorable" anti-American camp dwarfed the "very favorable" vote by a whopping 67 percent to 3 percent.

We cannot afford to let Mr. Bremer fail in his assigned mission because, in the words of New Yorker editor David Remnick, "[No] amount of military capacity or precision will get around the fact that an American presence in Baghdad will carry with it risks and responsibilities that will shape the future of the United States in the world. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bremer and Sisyphus
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.