Skip to comments.Iraq Eases Curb on Ex-Officials of Baath Party
Posted on 01/12/2008 8:41:25 PM PST by neverdem
BAGHDAD The Iraqi Parliament passed a bill on Saturday that would allow some former officials from Saddam Husseins party to fill government positions but would impose a strict ban on others. The legislation is the first of the major so-called political benchmark measures to pass after months of American pressure for progress.
The measure, which is expected to be approved as a law by the presidential council, was described by its backers as opening the door for the reinstatement of thousands of low-level Baath Party members barred from office after the 2003 invasion. Since then, the Bush administration has urged the Iraqi government to reintegrate many officials in order to help mend the deep rifts between Sunni Arabs who used to control the government under Mr. Hussein and the Shiites who now dominate politics here.
However, it was unclear on Saturday how far the legislation would go toward soothing Sunni Arabs, because serious disagreements emerged in the hours after the vote about how much the law would actually do.
While the measure would reinstate many former Baathists, some political leaders said it would also force thousands of other former party members out of current government jobs and into retirement especially in the security forces, where American military officials have worked hard to increase the role of Sunnis. One member of Iraqs current de-Baathification committee said the law could even push 7,000 active Interior Ministry employees into retirement.
President Bush, traveling in Kuwait and Bahrain on Saturday, praised the vote, calling it an important step toward reconciliation. And he said that to consolidate progress in the country in the past year, he was prepared to slow or even halt American troop reductions beyond those already planned to bring levels back to what they were before the so-called troop surge...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
We Still Need the Big Guns IIRC, by an active duty Air Force Major General
DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN: Obama rocks Vegas faithful ("Sí se puede.") This was removed from the front page sidebar.
Can the GOP buy a clue?
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Ironic that a desert nation would have a bath party anyway.