Saturday, February 07, 2004

But Who's Tom?

I've been trying to find out why Paul Bremer's nickname is Jerry, and this is as close as I could get to an answer:

He's no Cyrus the Great

    GWEN IFILL: Ambassador Bremer, I just want to tell the world that your nickname is Jerry, so if everyone is wondering who is Jerry, I thought I'd let everybody know.

    L. PAUL BREMER: You just revealed a state secret.

    GWEN IFILL: I think your partner there just revealed it...

While not answering my question, this interview -- done June 6, 2000 on PBS's News Hour -- is rather fascinating in the current context of what kind of intelligence we had focussed on terrorism at the time. Here's one excerpt:

    L. PAUL BREMER: What we mean is that fighting terrorism is not just a question of dealing with the criminals and the crimes they commit, that there are reasons why some people turn to terrorism. There are political reasons, there are economic reasons. Some people are simply criminals. And an astute foreign policy would not ignore the context out of which terrorism springs. But we believe that doesn't mean we shouldn't fight terrorism any more than you would say, "well, we need to understand why people are committing crimes on the streets of Washington and New York. And until we can understand why they're committing crimes, we're going to let them continue to commit the crimes." No. You have to have a police force that tries to deal with the crimes, just as you deal with the underlying reasons people turn to crime.
This is probably why Bremer's been so successful in Iraq.

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