WASHINGTON – The former top U.S. administrator in Iraq said Sunday that the country's new democracy would be "sloppy and messy" as the interim government confronts a continuing insurgency.
L. Paul Bremer (search) said he would give Iraq's interim government high marks so far for its approach to insurgents.
"It isn't going to be an American-style democracy," Bremer said on "FOX News Sunday."
"We shouldn't kid ourselves. It will be sloppy and messy at the beginning. People forget it took us 12 years to write our own Constitution. It wasn't very pretty around here either between 1776 and 1787," Bremer said.
"It took a while and the Iraqis are going to have work their way through it. And there will be ups and downs, but the direction is right," he said.
Bremer did not comment on specific approaches of the new government. On Saturday, a spokesman for Prime Minister Iyad Allawi (search) said the government may offer amnesty to insurgents and could extend it to those who killed American troops, in an apparent bid to lure Saddam Hussein (search) loyalists away from their campaign of violence.
Bremer acknowledged there were slowdowns in spending for Iraq reconstruction, blaming government bureaucracy and delays built into contracting law. But he said $10 billion of the $18.4 billion approved by Congress last year was committed to specific projects, even though the Bush administration has acknowledged only 2 percent of the money has been spent.
"We ... ran into problems with the Washington bureaucracy getting that moved forward and I certainly was among the most critical of that process," Bremer said.
Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., who just returned from Iraq, shared Bremer's optimism that the new Iraqi government would succeed.
"I had the opportunity to meet with the new Iraqi minister of defense and his leading generals," he said on NBC's "Meet The Press."
"They are patriots. They want to assume more and more of the policing and the fight against the terrorists and the insurgents. So there's a lot of hope about Iraq today."