Politics

Red Blue Green Zone

Barn in Cavendish
Barn in Cavendish, 2009, Paul Bremer

Failure or Fall Guy? Paul Bremer has been called both. Shortly after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Bremer took over the Coalition Provisional Authority, and oversaw the administration and reconstruction of the newly liberated country for more than a year. His critics now blame him for allowing billions of reconstruction dollars to go unaccounted, and for disbanding the Iraqi army, which led to years of insurgent violence.

Bremer has defended himself against these charges, and has few regrets about his tenure as head of the CPA.

We called him this week to talk about something else - painting. US News and World Report recently reported that Bremer took up painting shortly after returning from Iraq, and has just launched a website featuring his work.

"I'm still obviously learning, as you can see by looking at my paintings," Bremer told Day to Day host Madeleine Brand. "It's difficult for me because I'm a beginner, so it's frustrating and humiliating."

His work is showing signs of improvement apparently. A painting he completed a month ago, Barn in Cavendish, is considered his best work yet. "According to my severest critic, who is my wife," joked Bremer.

The proceeds from the sale of his paintings are donated to non-profit historical societies in Vermont.

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