"The decision to send the loyal and the willing instead of the best and the brightest is now regarded by many people involved in the 3 1/2 -year effort to stabilize and rebuild Iraq as one of the Bush administration's gravest errors. Many of those selected because of their political fidelity spent their time trying to impose a conservative agenda on the postwar occupation that sidetracked more important reconstruction efforts and squandered goodwill among the Iraqi people, according to many people who participated in the reconstruction effort."
"When President Bush announced in May 2003 that he was appointing L. Paul Bremer as the top U.S. civilian official in Iraq, I received an e-mail from one of his former business colleagues: 'I just heard that Jerry [Bremer's nickname] will be running Iraq. And the Iraqis thought that the worst we could do was to bomb them.'
At the time, I just smiled and dismissed the message. Three years later, Rajiv Chandrasekaran's extraordinary book made me realize how tragically prescient that e-mail had been. Imperial Life in the Emerald City is full of jaw-dropping tales of the myriad large and small ways in which Bremer and his team poured fuel into the lethal cauldron that is today's Iraq. He was not alone and had many eager and powerful partners in Washington, Baghdad and elsewhere."
--from Moisés Naím's review of 'Imperial Life in the Emerald City'
Haveman arrived in Iraq with his own priorities. He liked to talk about the number of hospitals that had reopened since the war and the pay raises that had been given to doctors instead of the still-decrepit conditions inside the hospitals or the fact that many physicians were leaving for safer, better paying jobs outside Iraq. He approached problems the way a health care administrator in America would: He focused on preventive measures to reduce the need for hospital treatment.
He urged the Health Ministry to mount an anti-smoking campaign...
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