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Old 01-12-2008, 02:51 PM   #1
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Key benchmark in Iraq achieved today!

Iraq to reinstate ex-Baathists

BAGHDAD (AFP) - In a major boost for reconciliation in deeply divided Iraq, Shiite and Sunni MPs unanimously passed a law on Saturday allowing ex-officials of Saddam Hussein's Baath party to return to public life.

The vote was swiftly welcomed by Washington which has long been calling for passage of a bill that it regards as a key measure of reconciliation in Iraq.

The Justice and Accountability Law was passed unanimously by the 143 members of parliament present in the 275-member house after months of obstruction by hardline Shiites who had been demanding that the bill also include measures to compensate victims of Saddam's regime.

US President George W. Bush, who earlier in the day received a briefing from top US officials in Iraq in neighbouring Kuwait, hailed an "important step toward reconciliation".

"It's an important sign that the leaders in that country must work together to meet the aspirations of the Iraqi people," he said in Bahrain on the next stop on a Middle East tour.

The new law will allow thousands of middle-ranking Baath party members to apply for reinstatement to their jobs in the civil service and military, provided they were not convicted of crimes.

A smaller group of more senior members will not be allowed back into public life but, if they have no criminal records, will be retired on pension.

Tens of thousands of Baath officials were dismissed from state institutions after Saddam was ousted in 2003, leaving schools and government offices struggling for expertise and providing fertile ground for the anti-US insurgency.

The new law includes a clause that allows victims of Baath regime to apply to special tribunals for monetary compensation and stresses that members of Saddam's security services and those involved in crimes will be punished.

It also sets up an Accountability and Justice Board which will be tasked with ensuring that the ideology, practices and power of the Baath party will not be allowed to return to the country.

Fallah Hassan Shanshal, MP for Sadr City and head of parliament's de-Baathification committee, said the law would now be sent to the three-member presidential council for final approval.

"The law was passed to make sure those who committed crimes against the Iraqi people be held accountable," Shanshal told AFP.

"At the same time, it will give higher-ranked party members who have not committed any crimes the right of retirement. The lower-ranked members can return to their normal life."

The bill had been pending since March.



http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080112...qpoliticsbaath

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/...E-GEN-Iraq.php
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Old 01-12-2008, 02:56 PM   #2
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:03 PM   #3
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Mass de-Baathification was a dumb idea to begin with, as a large number of the workers were simply technocrats who had the expertise to keep vital government functions going.
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:40 PM   #4
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So, Strongbow, are you now admitting that it was a serious mistake to sack these people in the first place?
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:49 PM   #5
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So, Strongbow, are you now admitting that it was a serious mistake to sack these people in the first place?
I've never denied that this was a mistake. There were certainly people like the top leadership that needed to be removed and another level below that needing investigation, but the rest should have been allowed to continue in their positions. The entire country was very dependent on the Baath Party and while removal of parts of it were necessary, much of it should have been kept in place, at least initially to try and keep much of the country from collapsing as well as preventing its members from joining the insurgency. The same mistake was made with what remained of the military.
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Old 01-12-2008, 04:21 PM   #6
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I'm glad some of the monumental mistakes that this administration has made are getting corrected.
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Old 01-13-2008, 12:01 AM   #7
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Unfortunately, the death of the thousands of our soldiers along with the death of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis will never get corrected.
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Old 01-13-2008, 03:35 PM   #8
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Thankfully, the deaths of thousands of Americans and millions of Iraqi's, have been prevented through US/Coalition military intervention in Iraq as well as preventing global economic meltdown, large scale Al Quada resurgence, and the potential spread of WMD. Way to many people fail to appreciate the consequences of not intervening.
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Old 01-14-2008, 07:44 AM   #9
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Originally posted by Strongbow
Thankfully, the deaths of thousands of Americans and millions of Iraqi's, have been prevented through US/Coalition military intervention in Iraq as well as preventing global economic meltdown, large scale Al Quada resurgence, and the potential spread of WMD. Way to many people fail to appreciate the consequences of not intervening.


There were no WMD's, no al qaeda in Iraq before we went in, bin Laden and other Islamic radicals hated Saddam because Saddam wasn't a "true" Muslim in their eyes, no spread of WMD considering there were NO WMD's.

Whatever, its all old news.
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Old 01-14-2008, 01:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Strongbow
Thankfully, the deaths of thousands of Americans and millions of Iraqi's, have been prevented through US/Coalition military intervention in Iraq as well as preventing global economic meltdown, large scale Al Quada resurgence, and the potential spread of WMD. Way to many people fail to appreciate the consequences of not intervening.


this is so irresponsible, it's almost hilarious.

[q]Homer: Not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol must be working like a charm.
Lisa: That's specious reasoning, Dad.
Homer: Thank you, dear.
Lisa: By your logic I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.
Homer: Oh, how does it work?
Lisa: It doesn't work.
Homer: Uh-huh.
Lisa: It's just a stupid rock.
Homer: Uh-huh.
Lisa: But I don't see any tigers around, do you?
Homer: Lisa, I want to buy your rock.[/q]
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Old 01-14-2008, 03:26 PM   #11
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^

What a fool.
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Old 01-14-2008, 03:39 PM   #12
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There were no WMD's, no al qaeda in Iraq before we went in, bin Laden and other Islamic radicals hated Saddam because Saddam wasn't a "true" Muslim in their eyes, no spread of WMD considering there were NO WMD's.

Whatever, its all old news.
According to the United Nations, Saddam failed to verifiably disarm of 500 pounds of mustard gas, 500 pounds of nerve gas, 1,000 liters of Anthrax, and over 20,000 bio/chem capable shells. IT was NEVER incumbent upon the United States, the United Nations to FIND WMD in Iraq in order to justify military intervention of any sort. It was incumbent upon Saddam to either give up such WMD or if it had been dismantled or disposed of to do so in a verifiable manner. Saddam NEVER did that. The fact that the United States military did not find this large collection of WMD is irrelevent to the necessity for regime removal. The fact remains that he did have this stuff and failed to verifiably disarm of it. Whats more, after the invasion the US military did find multiple programs related to the development of WMD that were in violation of the 1991 Gulf War Ceacefire agreement. Even if it was true that Saddam had dismantled his stockpile of WMD in secret as of the March 2003 invasion, the WMD programs that were still under way show the clear intention of Saddam's regime, especially when they were given ample opportunity to show UN inspectors before the war of such programs and did not do so.

As long as Saddam remained in power and continued to not comply with 17 UN security council rules passed under chapter VII rules of the United Nations, the sanctions and weapons embargo regime continued to fall apart, leaving Saddam in power any longer would be too great a risk, especially given his prior wars of aggression, use of WMD, in the region over the past 20 years. The world is safer with Saddam out of power no matter how you look at it.
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Old 01-14-2008, 03:45 PM   #13
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this is so irresponsible, it's almost hilarious.

Not intervening while Saddam continued to violate 17 UN security council resolutions vital to the security of the region and the world would have been irresponsible. But you have to move beyond typical two party politics in the United States to the fundamental security issues in the Persian Gulf and what they mean for the world to even begin to understand this.
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Old 01-14-2008, 03:47 PM   #14
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The world is safer with Saddam out of power no matter how you look at it.
You have so much research done on this topic, and you come to this conclusion?

I feel significantly less safe today than I did five years ago.
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Old 01-14-2008, 03:54 PM   #15
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You have so much research done on this topic, and you come to this conclusion?

I feel significantly less safe today than I did five years ago.
The energy that you and I depend on in order to live in an industrialized society is no longer threatened by a dictator with nearly half a million troops, thousands of tanks, thousands of artillery pieces, hundreds of combat aircraft, WMD programs and potential stockpiles, all in close proximity to the energy reserves the world depends on, its economic lifeline. The safer Kuwait and Saudi Arabia's natural resources are, the safer the entire world is, including yourself.
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