The coalition government relied heavily on a revolving door of diplomats and other personnel who would leave just as they had begun to develop local knowledge and ties, and on a large cadre of eager young neophytes whose brashness often gave offense in a very age- and status-conscious society. One young political appointee (a 24-year-old Ivy League graduate) argued that Iraq should not enshrine judicial review in its constitution because it might lead to the legalization of abortion. A much more senior Iraqi interlocutor (a widely experienced Iraqi-American lawyer) became so exasperated with the young man's audacity that he finally challenged him:
``You must have thoroughly studied the history of the British occupation of Iraq.''
``Yes, I did,'' the young American replied proudly.
``I thought so,'' said the Iraqi, ``because you seem determined to repeat every one of their mistakes.''
What is it with this Republican affinity for really, really stupid 24-year-olds?