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Officials Rethink Ban on Baathists

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posted on Apr, 22 2004 @ 06:20 PM
When the US took over Iraq and eventaully captured Saddam, all member of the Baathists party were removed from power. It was felt these people could be loyal to Saddam and deter efforts to demoncratize Iraq.
The US is now rethinking that posotion.

"WASHINGTON As part of a broad effort to draw more Sunni Muslims into Iraq's power structure, U.S. officials have begun a push to make sure they are not unfairly excluding former Iraqi military officers and Baath Party officials from posts in the new government, a senior administration official said.

Coalition and Iraqi authorities have worked hard since last year's invasion to make sure that the remnants of Saddam Hussein's governing class and military structure have been removed from top posts. But many Iraqis, U.S. military field commanders and international officials believe that the "de-Baathification" effort has gone too far, depriving the new Iraqi government of needed skills and dangerously alienating the Sunni minority. ....

Under the policy, all Baath Party members were forced out of their government jobs, leaving crucial ministries and other services with almost no employees. Low-level functionaries with no ties to criminal activity are eligible to reapply for their positions, but the process is slow and cumbersome and some members of the Iraqi Governing Council are determined to keep any former Baath Party members from government posts."

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