Friday, November 10, 2006

More real progress in Iraq: rolling back excessive de-Baathification

We read in an article in the Washington Post by John Ward Anderson entitled "Proposal Would Rehire Members of Hussein's Party - Tens of Thousands of Sunnis Pushed Out of Government Jobs Could Benefit From Shiite Measure" about a third significant increment of progress in Iraq in barely a single week, which is the decision by Iraq to substantially roll back the excessive de-Baathification that the U.S. right-wing hawks forced on Iraq. Sure a handful of Iraqi Baathists are outright war criminals, but most are far less evil. The problem was that by banning them from holding office or even having jobs in the government left them with little in the way of disincentive to refrain from supporting the insurgency.

This is an important move and will facilitate an accommodation between the disenfranchised Sunnis and the dominant Shiites.

I have personally been waiting for this move for some time. It is an absolute requirement for a peaceful solution to the unrest in Iraq.

The decision is not final since it is only a draft law, but its passage is almost certain. The fact that it was even discussed at all is truly significant.

Most importantly, it indicates the extent to which the fledgling Iraqi government is establishing its credentials as independent from the excessive, overbearing, extremist influences of the U.S., notably the Neoconservatives and the rest of the so-called Pro-Israel Lobby.

Alas, even as the Iraqis are recognizing and correcting one of the worst mistakes of the U.S. occupation of Iraq, unnamed "right wing nut jobs" at the Wall Street Journal in an editorial entitled "Justice for Saddam" are editorializing about the supposed dangers of the Baathists by saying that "the U.S. must also defeat the insurgency that battles on in Saddam's name", without recognizing that a negotiated compromise is far superior to endless battles that the generals don't even know how to win.

As a side note, at this stage I don't have an opinion as to the impact of Saddam Hussein's conviction on the evolution of peaceful relations in Iraq. It appears to be more of a sideshow than a critical component of policy.

-- Jack Krupansky


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