Skip to comments.Purge Of Ba'athists May Total 30,000
Posted on 05/17/2003 7:54:28 PM PDT by blam
Purge of Ba'athists may total 30,000
Rory McCarthy in Baghdad
Saturday May 17, 2003
The US-led authority running Iraq said yesterday that up to 30,000 Ba'ath party members would be banned from taking part in a new government. The purge, to begin within a week, is likely to make it even more difficult to find qualified staff to run the ministries and other authorities.
"Deba'athification will entail some inefficiencies in the running of the government," an official of the office of reconstruction and humanitarian assistance said. "That's the price we're willing to pay in order to extirpate Ba'athism."
The aim was to "put a stake in its heart".
At least 15,000, and as many as 30,000, Ba'athists will be excluded. Of these 2,000 are thought to have tried to resume their jobs since the war. US and British intelligence agencies have several lists of senior party members, but it is unclear if they are that long.
They are a threat because they are trying to "reorganise and reconstruct" the party, the official said. Rewards would be given for finding senior party officials.
The policy, signed yesterday, was one of the first decisions of Paul Bremer, the newly arrived American civilian ad ministrator. His approach meets a demand by Ahmad Chalabi, the US-backed exiled leader, whose deputies said this week that 30,000 top Ba'athists needed to be excluded.
In the holy city of Karbala, south of Baghdad, a mass grave was uncovered near the shrine of Hussein, grandson of the Prophet. The remains of 45 bodies, thought to be Shia Muslims, were found.
It was the third mass grave uncovered this week, one of which contained 3,100 bodies.
BTW Patton was closer to the truth with that statement than anyone realized at the time.