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Yay for Progress in Iraq! Oh, wait....Views: 197
Jan 14, 2008 9:19 pm Yay for Progress in Iraq! Oh, wait....

Danielle (Dani) Cutler

Some Iraqi Ba’athists Finally Getting Their Jobs Back

  • Hi ho, hi ho, it’s back to work they go. [NY Times] [Washington Post]
  • In 2003, the U.S. backed Coalition Provision Authority fired thousands of Iraqis from their jobs, fueling the growing insurgency with a crop of angry, unemployed former government employees.
  • Now, the Iraqi parliament has passed a bill to ” make it easier for former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party to return to government jobs and collect their pensions” File under better late than never.
  • Why this is important? The Shi’ite and Kurdish dominated government is allowing 3,500 Sunni former Ba’ath party members to collect their pensions, and another 13,000 to return to low level non-security related government jobs.
  • Predictably, the Bush administration has trumpeted this measure as signs of political progress, justifying the surge.
  • But the reality is more complex.
  • The bill excludes high ranking Ba’athists from entering any government position at all, and allow the Shi’te dominated government to disband any political party they see as representing the former Ba’ath party. [Juan Cole]
  • One suspicious sign: “If the new law was good for ex-Baathists, then the ex-Baathists in parliament will have voted for it and praised it, right? Instead, parliament’s version of this law was spearheaded by Sadrists, and the ex-Baathists in parliament criticized it.”
  • In other words, it looks an awful lot like nonsense.


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