Occupational Hazards

Iraq is still a mess, and U.S. troops are still being killed. Can America's new man in Baghdad turn things around?

You have to be patient," says Paul Bremer, the de facto American Governor of Iraq, sitting in his small office in the cavernous Republican Palace in Baghdad. "None of us has any experience in this," he says, referring to the reconstruction task ahead of him. "Those who do are over 90. We have not done it since Germany."

The analogy is both apt and troubling. Like Germany at the end of World War II, Iraq is an urbanized but ravaged society living in the shadow of a vile dictatorship. As in Germany, the systems for providing essential services like water...

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