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Iraq Eases Curb on Ex-Officials of Baath Party
NY Times ^ | January 13, 2008 | RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr. and STEVEN LEE MYERS

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 Hussein’s 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 Iraq’s 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 ...

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: baathpartymembers; debaathification; iraq

1 posted on 01/12/2008 8:41:27 PM PST by neverdem
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To: wardaddy; Joe Brower; Cannoneer No. 4; Criminal Number 18F; Dan from Michigan; Eaker; Jeff Head; ...
The olde grey skank has an above the fold, frontpage story about progress in Iraq, but there's not a single comment so far. What can I say? The next link is why you need to check it periodically, at least its OpEd Contributors.

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.

The Brothers and Sisters War

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Can the GOP buy a clue?

From time to time, I’ll ping on noteworthy articles about politics, foreign and military affairs. FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.

2 posted on 01/13/2008 11:27:19 PM PST by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: neverdem

Thanks for the ping!

3 posted on 01/14/2008 9:57:30 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: neverdem; AdmSmith; Berosus; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; ...

Ironic that a desert nation would have a bath party anyway.

4 posted on 01/14/2008 10:13:00 PM PST by SunkenCiv ( updated Sunday, December 30, 2007)
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