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Iraq Eases Job Restrictions On Baathists

From a deeply saddened Reuters:

Iraq lets Baathists go back to work

By Mussab Al-Khairalla

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s parliament voted on Saturday to let thousands of members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party return to government jobs, winning praise from Washington for achieving a benchmark step toward reconciling warring sects.

The law is the first of a series of measures that Washington has long been pressing the Shi’ite Islamist-led government to pass in an effort to draw the minority Sunni Arab community that held sway under Saddam closer into the political process.

“This law preserves the rights of the Iraqi people after the crimes committed by the Baath Party while also benefiting the innocent members of the party. This law provides a balance,” government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said…

Iraq’s failure to pass the bill last year had been seen as one of the main signs that political progress toward reconciliation was stalled even as security improved…

The law is part of a wider effort to end a political deadlock that saw the main Sunni Arab bloc pull out of Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s government last August.

“The law has been passed. We see it as a very good sign of progress and it will greatly benefit Baathists. It was passed smoothly and opposition was small,” said Rasheed al-Azzawi, a Sunni member of the committee which helped draft it…

The Accountability and Justice bill replaces an existing law that Sunni leaders had complained amounted to collective punishment against their sect. ..

Gee, this sure sounds like another one of those political reconciliations that the Democrats keep telling us aren’t happening in Iraq.

How is it possible?

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, January 12th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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