Skip to comments.UnDeBaathification? Mukhabarat Officers Once Fired, Now Eligible for Re-Hire
Posted on 02/20/2007 12:55:31 PM PST by jmc1969
A news item appeared in the Iraqi Az-Zaman daily on Monday. The report will probably not receive wide coverage in the Western Press, but its contents may indicate a critical turn in the shape of the post-Ba`thi Iraqi state.
The report also enumerated the institutions whose employees will be offered the re-assignment package. According to Az-Zaman, these included:
The members of the Republican Guard, the Special Guard, the 1st Army Corps, the Office of the Presidency, the Military Intelligence, the Apparatus of Special Security, the members of General Security and other institutions.
The news item states that the High Commission for National Reconciliation will distribute forms to Iraqi state employees who lost their jobs due to the de-Ba`thification policies. The forms will allow these employees to return to service, be re-assigned, or receive pension benefits.
(Excerpt) Read more at iraqslogger.com ...
For those not familiar with the institutions of the Iraqi state under Saddam, the security organizations listed above formed the core of Saddams repressive apparatus, and the most feared, brutal and loyal organizations of the defunct regime.
Many Iraqi politicians and commentators found the mass firings following the American invasion to be too harsh, and argued that most of those fired did not hold critical positions in the state apparatus, and that they joined the ranks of the Ba`th, like millions of Iraqis did, not out of political conviction, but to secure their employment and avoid harassment.
People who argued for that position probably meant the thousands of engineers, bureaucrats and rank-and-file soldiers who were left unemployed after the war, which in addition to the individual suffering they experienced- deprived Iraq from some of its best talents, and left unemployed many experienced employees who built the institutions of the Iraqi state. But it is highly doubtful that any Iraqi wished for the return of those who spied, imprisoned and tortured their fellow citizens for decades.
I am no blogger, pundit, or anything of that nature--but I have always thought that the US would have been better going the route of having a slightly more cuddlier Baathist regime in power than going the route of outright western style democracy in Iraq. If the reconstituted Baathist are authoritarian but not brutal, and willing to keep the Islamist elements in check, keep the oil flowing, and not out to seek WMDs to use against the US or Israel, why not? If they are going to go this route by hiring ex-Republican Guards etc. they also better think on having a more autonomous Kurdistan. At this point, if the Turks have diarrhea over the Kurds, let them take some diplomatic kayopectate. The Shiite government has proved itself already. They are totally in the Iranian camp. Although Sistani at one time appeared to be a man of reason, he has long been umnable to call the shots (who knows what he was really thinking anyway). I am wondering if this has been the thinking of David Petraeus?
There is an old and very important saying, keep your friends close and your potental enemies closer.
These people know how the terror appratus inside the Sunni community works. Getting the people with deep connections inside the Sunni community who are willing to work for us a very good thing. Even if some of them are playing both sides by keeping them close we can watch their work and weed out the disloyal ones.
Of course replacing the Iraqi regime with someone like Allawi who is pro American, anti Iranian and anti al-Qaeda and waiting until Iraq built the basic institutions of a democracy would have been the smart thing to do before having elections.
That said it is the Maliki government that has decided to allow de-Baathification to be greatly reduced. He actually does want to be a Prime Minister for all Iraqis. But, because of the PR parlimentary list system we created in Iraq he has been quite constrained.
The Baathists should have not been viewed at the overthrow of Saddam as all our enemies and the Shia as our friends. The Baathists are the only ones who know how to govern a country like Iraq. The Shia have no experience whatsoever.
But, that is water under the bridge. The Baathists can play a major role in helping to rebuild and secure Iraq, because what motivates them is money not religion.
Consider the possibilities:
The new recruits with the best knowledge and deepest connections have the most American blood on their hands.
They'll use us far more than we'll use them. For one thing, more of them know our language than vise versa.
Massive infiltration of spies could result in a huge increase in successful ambushes.
Unlike you I don't consider the Baathists anymore the enemy then the DAWA party or the SCIRI.
They all have blood on their hands, Iraqi and American. But, the US if it wants to stabilize Iraq are going to have to work with all those motivated by greed instead of religious fanaticism.
Appealing to greed seems a dead end to me. It doesn't inspire those looking for inspiration.
We need to eject sharia from the Iraqi Constitution and start over. Neo-Wilsonianism needs a MacArthur.
Announce a secular state and that will recruit the right kind of idealists to the cause. Of course that will take a US commitment of decades, announced upfront by an overwhelming majority of Congress, for these idealists to stick their necks out.