Rajiv Chandrasekaran, former Baghdad bureau chief for the Washington Post, was on my show today to talk about what life is like in the Green Zone, and what’s wrong with the way the Bush administration is dealing with the continuing violence and reconstruction of Iraq.

We talked about the underestimated power of religious leaders like Moqtada Al-Sadr, the failed management of Paul Bremer in his stint as our top man in Iraq, and why the training of the Iraqi army and police has gone so slowly.

One of the amazing revelations in our conversation (and Rajiv’s book, “Imperial Life In The Emerald City”) is how much politics, not experience, played a role in who was sent to Iraq to set policies and implement them — even to the point where some candidates for post-war roles were asked about their thoughts on Roe v. Wade and other matters that had no bearing on whether they were qualified for the job.

Listen to the conversation here.