But he's our damn Yank!

Paul Bremer is probably most well known for 'Ladies and gentlemen... We got him!' As governor of Iraq he received some considerable criticism, mostly for his de-Baathification project, which left the Iraqi military and security forces gutted and ineffective. Unnecessarily so, according to his critics.

In the Netherlands however, Paul Bremer is fondly remembered as the most popular US ambassador ever. In a large part this was due to the fact that he spoke Dutch fluently. But more generally he was genuinely interested in Dutch affairs, more so then those that came before or after him.

His interest has evidently not waned after being away from the Netherlands for so long. In an interview with the Dutch ANP he gave his opinion on the Wilders/Fitna fracas (NL).
Giving in to threats of violence, for example to Dutch embassies, would be an unacceptable form of "pre-emptive concession politics". "If the Dutch government is afraid of the consequences of Wilders' film, the only right answer is: better security measures."

More important then the dilemma between freedom of opinion and the possible consequences, is the question what Western governments do with regard to anti-jewish and anti-christian publications in islamic states like Egypt and Saudi-Arabia, according to the former diplomat. In those states the media are completely controlled by authorities. "That tells me much more about their opinions of the rest of the world then what the Danes or the Dutch think of the islamic world."

Dealing with the issues around the Danish cartoons and the film by Wilders is closely connected to the more general European approach of immigration issues. The multicultural approach of integration in the last 40 years, according to Bremer, has been a fundamental error in the European approach. By allowing large groups their own culture and allowing bi-lingual education in schools you only encourage the foundation of ghettos. People are not encouraged to integrate.
Please, mr. President, can we have him back?

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