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Old 01-12-2008, 01:51 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, 01:56 PM   #2
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Old 01-12-2008, 02:03 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, 02:40 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, 02:49 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, 03:21 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 01-12-2008, 11:01 PM   #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, 02:35 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, 06:44 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, 12:06 PM   #10
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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.


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, 02:26 PM   #11
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^

What a fool.
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Old 01-14-2008, 02:39 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, 02:45 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, 02:47 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, 02:54 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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Old 01-14-2008, 03:37 PM   #16
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Originally posted by Strongbow


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.


to invade in the manner in which it was done was irresponsible. to pretend that there was only one solution to the situation is irresponsible. to pretend that someone is a greater threat than they actually are is irresponsible. to pretend that someone has WMDs or connections to Al-Qaeda is irresponsible. to pretend that egregious errors and shocking mismanagement hasn't occurred is irresponsible. to leave 100,000 troops in the middle of the most volatile region on earth for the indefinite future is irresponsible. to inspire a new generation of hatred for the west and the US in particular is irresponsible. and to pretend that this is anything other than the very first baby steps of political progress (which it is) and to pretend that "the surge" had any other stated goals other than political progress is irresponsible.
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Old 01-14-2008, 03:38 PM   #17
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Originally posted by Strongbow


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.


what is so nice about this, as compared to Bush and the rest of the neocons, is that you don't pretend that it's about anything other than oil.

it is blood for oil. and you're fine with that.

i do appreciate the honesty.
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Old 01-14-2008, 04:41 PM   #18
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to invade in the manner in which it was done was irresponsible. to pretend that there was only one solution to the situation is irresponsible. to pretend that someone is a greater threat than they actually are is irresponsible. to pretend that someone has WMDs or connections to Al-Qaeda is irresponsible. to pretend that egregious errors and shocking mismanagement hasn't occurred is irresponsible. to leave 100,000 troops in the middle of the most volatile region on earth for the indefinite future is irresponsible. to inspire a new generation of hatred for the west and the US in particular is irresponsible. and to pretend that this is anything other than the very first baby steps of political progress (which it is) and to pretend that "the surge" had any other stated goals other than political progress is irresponsible.
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Old 01-14-2008, 04:43 PM   #19
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to invade in the manner in which it was done was irresponsible. to pretend that there was only one solution to the situation is irresponsible. to pretend that someone is a greater threat than they actually are is irresponsible. to pretend that someone has WMDs or connections to Al-Qaeda is irresponsible. to pretend that egregious errors and shocking mismanagement hasn't occurred is irresponsible. to leave 100,000 troops in the middle of the most volatile region on earth for the indefinite future is irresponsible. to inspire a new generation of hatred for the west and the US in particular is irresponsible. and to pretend that this is anything other than the very first baby steps of political progress (which it is) and to pretend that "the surge" had any other stated goals other than political progress is irresponsible.
Let me add to that.

To pull out weapons inspectors prematurely, before their job is done, and then to say that all other measures have been exhausted and we must go to war, claiming that the inspectors did their job, which they weren't allowed to finish, claiming that weapons were found, which weren't, and claiming that Iraq will give these (non-existant) weapons to al-Qaeda (which they won't), is irresponsible.
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Old 01-14-2008, 05:05 PM   #20
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to invade in the manner in which it was done was irresponsible. to pretend that there was only one solution to the situation is irresponsible.
The invasion was executed with the authority of UN Security Council resolutions 1441, 687 and 678. Dozens of nations around the world supported the military intervention, and the following occupation was immediately approved by the United Nations and has been every year for the past 5 years. There are few military interventions in history on this scale that have been accomplished in such a relatively short period of time and low level of casualties in regards to the initial invasion.

to pretend that, after attempting and using all other options which failed over 12 years, that there was any other option other than regime change is irresponsible. Covert military action, limited military action, sanctions, a weapons embargo, a revolt from within Iraq, were all tried and all failed. The only way to remove Saddam from power and enforce the vital security council resolutions was through a large scale military intervention which given the situation at the time was actually overdue.





Quote:
to pretend that someone is a greater threat than they actually are is irresponsible.
To constantly ignore the massive amount of evidence and basic fundamental security needs of the Persian Gulf region, especially after the crises of 1990-1991 is irresponsible. All the wishful thinking in the world won't change the obvious facts about Saddam's military, its proximity to Kuwait and northern Saudi Arabia, its capabilities both conventional and non-conventional, its refusal to comply with security council resolutions necessary for the security of the Persian Gulf, and the delicate security situation that presented the world.


Quote:
to pretend that someone has WMDs or connections to Al-Qaeda is irresponsible.
To ignore the National Intelligence Estimate at the time on these particular issues, as well as the well documented facts about Saddam's WMD programs and his refusal to comply with the UN disarmament process in the 1990s is irresonsible. To ignore the fact that UN inspectors found that Saddam failed to account for thousands of stocks of WMD is irresponsible. To ignore the fact that multiple programs related to the production of WMD and in violation of the 1991 Gulf War Ceacefire agreement were found on the ground in Iraq after the initial invasion and could have been shown to UN weapons inspectors prior to the war is, irresponsible.

Quote:
to pretend that egregious errors and shocking mismanagement hasn't occurred is irresponsible.
Few people ignore the mistakes that have been made during the occupation. What is irresponsible is totally ignoring the significant progress that has been made over the past 5 years as well as ignoring the basic facts of nation building and counterinsurgency.

Quote:
to leave 100,000 troops in the middle of the most volatile region on earth for the indefinite future is irresponsible.
To not leave enough troops in one of the most vital regions of the world to secure and protect the stability and natural resources that the world is dependent upon would be grossly irresponsible.


Quote:
to inspire a new generation of hatred for the west and the US in particular is irresponsible.
To compromise or allow US security in the region and worldwide to simply deteriorate in the naive hope that it will appease those foolishly drawn to Al Quada or hatred of the USA is irresponsible. The invasion of Afghanistan is no different than the invasion of Iraq in regards to this issue, or in fact any time the United States uses military force in or near muslim countries. Democrats and liberals predicted all the major governments in the middle east would be overthrown if the United States went to war to remove Saddam from Kuwait in 1990-1991.


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and to pretend that this is anything other than the very first baby steps of political progress (which it is)
This is not the beginning since there has indeed been political progress at the local level and the government has continued to work through many of the difficulties on the subject over the past 8 months in order to settle this particular issue. More political progress is coming and it will be interesting to see the excuses and lack of acknowledgement that I'm sure will come with each one from the left.

Quote:
and to pretend that "the surge" had any other stated goals other than political progress is irresponsible.
Political, economic and security progress in Iraq or for that matter any country attempting to develop in the face of insurgency and war, are completely intertwined. The surge had political, economic and security goals and it is gradually, in some cases very rapidly achieving them.
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