July 06, 2004

ANOTHER EMBARRASSING ERROR FROM THE LOS ANGELES TIMES? Bremer left Iraq without even giving a speech? ("almost as if he were afraid to look in the eye the people he had ruled for more than a year.")

Funny, according to the Iraqis he gave a rather eloquent and well-received speech. . . .

More on the L.A. Times' failures here and here.

UPDATE: Tim Blair has more (including links to other media accounts of the speech), and says that The Washington Post blew this too. Sheesh. It's bad enough to get stories about war wrong, but how do you miss a televised speech?

ANOTHER UPDATE: More here, and a longer commentary from recently-returned Marine Reservist Eric Johnson here.

And another news account of Bremer's speech is here:

Bremer, making his last public speech in Iraq, read the transfer document, which was inside a blue folder.

"As recognized in U.N. security council resolution 1546 ... (the CPA) will cease to exist on June 28," he said. "The Iraqi interim government will assume and exercise full ... sovereignty on behalf of the Iraqi people."

"We welcome Iraq's steps (to take) its rightful place," he continued, "among the free nations of the world."

With a laugh, he added: "signed sincerely L. Paul Bremer, ex-administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority."

After the ceremony al-Yawer expressed his thanks to the coalition. "There is no way to turn back now," al-Yawer said.

Bremer said that despite an ongoing insurgency, a series of car bombs and kidnappings countrywide, he was leaving Iraq "confident in its future."

"Anybody who has any doubts about whether Iraq is a better place today than it was 14 months ago, did not see the mass graves of Hillah ... or see any of the torture chambers, or rape rooms throughout this country," he said. "Iraq is a much better place absolutely."

(Emphasis added.) Doesn't sound like a guy who was afraid to look Iraqis in the eye, does it?