By Donald Macintyre
The Independent http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=403567
06 May 2003
Jay Garner, the former general who was appointed Iraq's chief civil
administrator, was on his way out last night as it became clear that
Washington was dropping him in favour of a former diplomat equally close to
the Bush government.
General Garner is likely to leave Iraq within weeks after a decision that he
was not up to the delicate political task of coaxing the country towards
Paul Bremer, the State Department's former head of counter-terrorism, is
expected to take charge of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian
General Garner's somewhat erratic style on political issues was evident
yesterday after he said the "beginning of a nucleus of an Iraqi government"
would be in place by mid-May.
In fact about half a dozen former leaders of opposition to Saddam Hussein
are expected to be in charge of convening a conference in four weeks' time,
which will be designed to agree a transitional government.
Although the change replaces a Pentagon appointee with a State Department
person, Mr Bremer is thought to be close to neo-conservatives around the US
Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
This is significant because it suggests continuing support by US
administrators here for the Iraqi National Congress headed by Dr Ahmad
The transitional government envisaged in talks by Iraqi politicians could
have an interim prime minister and a cabinet of about.25
Opinions differ sharply over whether Mr Chalabi and the INC, has an
established base in the country. But it has strong Pentagon support and has
become highly pro-active since Dr Chalabi's return to Baghdad last month