While I did not catch this at the Times, Oxblog pointed me to an article by Mercury News of all places, outlining the changes L. Paul Bremer is bringing to Iraq.
Among them, a new currency, a budget for the next fiscal year, and a central bank independent of government.
This is the part I thought was telling:
Andrew Bearpark, a senior member of Bremer’s Coalition Provisional Authority said attacks on Iraq’s power lines and oil supply system had been rising in the last few weeks, and contended that ordinary Iraqis were beginning to think the strikes were directed against them.
“I do not want to be too optimistic too soon, but I think we may be seeing ordinary Iraqi people assuming that this activity is actually directed at them, not at us, that they are the ones who have been suffering from lack of electricity or lack of water,” Bearpark, a British development and humanitarian aid official who is the provisional authority’s director of operations, said in a videoconference from Baghdad.
Bearpark said officials hoped Iraqis would help U.S.-led occupation forces by identifying saboteurs and averting attacks.
Hard to believe? Well, notice that the NYTimes burried this report in another, and instead of telling of Bremer’s triumphs, it called Bremer’s service an exercise in brinkmanship. Could it be that the news is somewhat slanted, and that our reports are being used to serve those who continue to oppose the war? Being so far away, it is hard to tell. One thing is for certain though, Bremer is doing a good job. About time.
This is also interesting:
Strock and Bearpark said the reconstruction effort was making significant progress in rehabilitating infrastructure that Saddam’s government neglected.
Iraq for years lacked the generating capacity to meet the needs of its people. Before the war, Baghdad received a larger share of power than other parts of the country. The U.S.-led administration has tried to make electrical distribution in the country more equitable, and as a result, Strock said, power shortages in Baghdad are somewhat worse than before the war.
I think this goes somewhat to say that we’re leaving Iraq better than when we found it.