Great weight lifted off my shoulders, says Bremer
DRESSED in his trademark combat boots and a dark business suit, Paul Bremer spoke yesterday of the weight lifted off his shoulders after the end of his tenure as US administrator in Iraq.
Speaking outside the White House, Mr Bremer said he was relieved to be in the United States after handing over sovereignty on Monday.
"It’s like having a rather large weight lifted off my shoulders," he told ABC’s Good Morning America programme. But he said he was sorry not to have brought more stability to Iraq, where insurgents launch daily attacks and the death toll is rising for US forces and Iraqis.
A study released yesterday in Geneva said more than eight million small arms, from pistols to machine-guns, fell into private hands in Iraq after the ousting of Saddam Hussein.
Mr Bremer said he hopes that now the Iraqis had "full responsibility" for their country, insurgents might lessen their attacks when they realised they were targeting the Iraqi people and not the occupiers.
Mr Bremer said he believed Iraq was a better place after 14 months of US occupation and the ousting of Saddam. He said he hoped to return to Iraq and show his granddaughter around one day.
He was optimistic Iraq’s interim government would be successful and hailed its prime minister, Iyad Allawi, as a "tough guy" with a highly able cabinet.
He welcomed the handover of Saddam to Iraq’s legal authorities yesterday and said he would get the kind of justice denied his own people.
Asked if he feared Saddam supporters would try to overrun a prison and free him, Mr Bremer said: "The more likely scenario is that a bunch of people who want to kill him take him over and hack him to pieces."
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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