90 Delegates Disqualified for Baath Membership?”

I do not usually use the wildly erratic Israeli site "DEBKAfile" as a source but this report, if true, would be such bad, bad news that I thought I should post it.  Yes, there was an election.  Yes, there will be a government.  Will that government’s existence gradually woo Sunni Arabs from support of the insurgents?  Not if this kind of thiing is characteristc.

Pat Lang

"The decision by the Iraqi Supreme Court to disqualify 90 delegates who were elected to parliament on December 15, most of them Sunni Muslims, because they were once members of the Baath Party, echoes the decision reached in the middle of 2003 by Paul Bremer, the first US administrator for Iraq.

At that time, Bremer, who was new to the job, ruled that all members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party and officers and sergeants of his armed forces – especially if they were also members of the Baath Party (had they not been, they would not have been considered for promotions) – would not be eligible for posts in the new regime or the new army to be established.

Bremer’s ruling was considered the second worst mistake the Bush administration made in Iraq, next to defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s decision – contrary to the view of most US military experts – that 150,000 troops would be sufficient to dismantle Saddam’s regime and bring Iraq under control.

This ruling condemned many thousands of former Iraqi officers and soldiers to choosing between a life of poverty and deprivation for themselves and their families and their only alternative: to join the Sunni Muslim guerilla war – with the guarantee of a monthly paycheck equal to their wages from Saddam’s regime.

Most of them chose the latter, giving the leaders of the guerilla war against the Americans an infusion of professional and experienced manpower. "


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3 Responses to 90 Delegates Disqualified for Baath Membership?”

  1. Geoff says:

    You think we’d learn.

  2. praktike says:

    I swear this was reported elsewhere, somewhere more reputable … will track it down in a sec

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