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Chalabi Compares U.S. Policy on Baathists with Nazis
Reuters ^ | Fri, Apr 23, 2004 | Khaled Yacoub Oweis

Posted on 04/23/2004 6:12:18 AM PDT by Eurotwit

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A U.S. policy shift that may allow former Baathists join a new Iraqi government was akin to putting back Nazis in charge of Germany, Governing Council member Ahmad Chalabi said on Friday.

"This policy will create major problems in the transition to democracy, endanger any government put together by U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi and cause it to fall after June 30," Chalabi told Reuters.

He spoke after the White House announced an overhaul of the "de-Baathification" policy, which may let some former members join an interim government being put together by the United Nations (news - web sites) ahead of a planned June 30 transfer of power.

"This is like allowing Nazis into the German government immediately after World War II," added Chalabi, who heads a council committee specifically dedicated to keeping the upper ranks of Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s Baath Party out of office.

Chalabi said U.S. Governor Paul Bremer discussed with the council on Thursday how to reinstate junior public workers, such as teachers, who were nominally Baath members, but did not mention Baathists taking part in a new government.

Bremer was due to explain changes to the policy in a televised speech to Iraqis later on Friday.

The Baath Party, founded by French-educated Syrian intellectuals in the 1940s, ruled Iraq (news - web sites) from 1968 until Saddam was toppled last year by a U.S.-led invasion.

"CHAUVINIST AND RACIST"

The former Iraqi opposition, violently crushed by the Baath, supports helping junior party members return to work if they did not commit crimes, but is aghast at the prospect of Baathists returning to assume senior government positions.

"We refuse this U.S. direction. Like the Nazis, the Baath was a chauvinist and racist organization," said Adnan al-Assadi, an official of the Dawa Party which is represented on the council.

"It will help security deteriorate further, disappoint Iraqis who have trusted the coalition to manage the political process and lead to civil war," he added.

Saddam all but wiped out the Dawa, ordering the execution of its leader Mohammad Baqer al-Sadr in 1980 along with his sister.

The party split and has been trying to recover since Sadr, one of the Shi'ite Islam's foremost thinkers, was killed.

A Sunni Governing Council member also expressed dismay at the White House announcement, although the policy could bring more Sunnis to positions of power.

Naseer al-Chaderji said there were former Baathists who had joined the party without believing in its ideology, but such people would have to be chosen by Iraqis who best know their record if they were to serve in the new government.

The upper echelons of the Baath were mostly from the Arab Sunni minority that ruled Iraq since its foundation in the 1920s but has been losing power and privileges under the U.S.-led occupation.

"The United States have turned Iraq into a guinea pig without giving Iraqis a say," Chaderji said.


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: chalabi; debaathification; iraq; southwestasia

1 posted on 04/23/2004 6:12:18 AM PDT by Eurotwit
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To: swarthyguy
Chalabi is upset.

Perhaps he should be sent to Jordan :-)
2 posted on 04/23/2004 6:13:37 AM PDT by Eurotwit
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To: Eurotwit
I'd like to know how divisions these Iraqi patriots will field to fight the terrorists. Otherwise they should simply thank us for liberating them.
3 posted on 04/23/2004 6:20:27 AM PDT by af_vet_1981
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To: Eurotwit
The U.S. governemnt finally understands what Patton was trying to show them in post-WWII Bavaria.
4 posted on 04/23/2004 6:21:45 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: Eurotwit; Liz
Chalabi is upset. Perhaps he should be sent to Jordan :-)

When it's all over, Chalabi will be swinging at the end of a Shiite rope.

J

5 posted on 04/23/2004 6:26:26 AM PDT by J. L. Chamberlain
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To: Eurotwit
Yeah, but Arabs think the Nazis were the good guys.
6 posted on 04/23/2004 6:29:44 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Brilliant
My gut reaction has always been that Chalabis thought the USA Government was one of his pawns in attaining his "wannabe" Saddam status in Iraq. Checkmate.

We need to think outside the box. Iraq is a can of Planter's Mixed Nuts right now and it's hard to decide which ones are the best.
7 posted on 04/23/2004 6:42:48 AM PDT by not2worry
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To: Eurotwit
What the AP said Chalabi said: "Chalabi Compares U.S. Policy on Baathists with Nazis."

What Chalbi said: "This is like allowing Nazis into the German government immediately after World War II ...."

Consequently, people who only read the headlines will get the AP's political slant on things.

8 posted on 04/23/2004 6:43:20 AM PDT by Agnes Heep (Solus cum sola non cogitabuntur orare pater noster)
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To: Eurotwit
some former Batthist are no more than career civil service employees . they had no choice but to join the party to get a job. why should they be denied jobs? rather they push pencils than plant road side bombs .
9 posted on 04/23/2004 7:04:54 AM PDT by tomder55
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To: Eurotwit
Um, we DID put the Nazis back into civil positions after the war. The fact was, they were the ONLY people who had experience running the water, electric, gas, and other facilities. It was done quietly, and after making sure they weren't part of the top party hierarchy, but it was common.
10 posted on 04/23/2004 7:11:46 AM PDT by LS (CNN is the Amtrak of news.)
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To: Eurotwit
Hey, if we can have a Senator who was a member of the KKK, why can't Baathists participate in Iraq's government?
11 posted on 04/23/2004 7:16:16 AM PDT by paddles
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To: Agnes Heep
This was Reuters, not AP.

I confess that I also was taken in by the headline. I was all set to be outraged at Chalabi's righteous indignation, but then I read the article. All he seems to be saying is that it is a bad idea to put the foxes back in charge of the chicken coop (sort of like putting ex-low-level Nazis in charge of Displaced Persons camps in Germany after World War II).

This doesn't seem to show any disloyalty or ingratitude to the US.
12 posted on 04/23/2004 7:56:38 AM PDT by Piranha
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To: J. L. Chamberlain
He has a way with words, doesn't he?
13 posted on 04/23/2004 8:54:35 AM PDT by Liz
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To: Piranha
This was Reuters, not AP.

Whoops. But they're both equally bad, I think.

14 posted on 04/23/2004 9:46:36 AM PDT by Agnes Heep (Solus cum sola non cogitabuntur orare pater noster)
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To: Eurotwit
Chalabi had his chance, his unbridled arrogance and incompetence are partially to blame for the situation.

It's too bad a COA advocated by many was not followed by Bremer last summer.

Post War Iraq may well prove to be a textbook case in how NOT to handle a postwar situation.
15 posted on 04/23/2004 9:49:47 AM PDT by swarthyguy
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To: Liz
Yup, I bet it was his "way with words" that won him that pesky conviction in Jordan.

BTW: Two weeks until pool opening. Woo Hoo! Then all the problems of this world, political hi-jinx, Hollyweird musings and liberal ne’er-do-wells will all be dwarfed by that bedeviling clarity of the pool water!

J
16 posted on 04/23/2004 9:54:41 AM PDT by J. L. Chamberlain
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To: LS
Yes, but liberals hate it when a successful precedent is followed by a Republican. If it might succeed, they must protest against it.
17 posted on 04/23/2004 10:02:45 AM PDT by Teacher317
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