Saturday, April 24, 2004
Largely due to pressure from one man special interest group, Ahmed Chalabi, Viceroy Bremer's first official act last May implemented a policy in which Baathists were to be purged from positions throughout Iraq's civil infrastructure -- teachers, professors, doctors, administrators, etc. It appears that the CPA is beginning to waffle on this policy.
In today's coalition briefing, CPA spokesman Dan Senor repeatedly characterized this reversal of policy as a mere "procedural change" -- implying that the Iraqis who will now be speedily reinstalled in prominent positions would eventually have been anyway. Senor brought up again and again a talking point involving 14,000 Iraqi teachers who were "Baathists in name only" and will now be reintegrated into Iraqi society. American Leftist believes not listening to Ahmed Chalabi is often a pretty good move. Indeed, it's not just CPA mouthpieces who are talking about those teachers. Here, for example, is UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi weighing in on the subject:
It is difficult to understand that thousands upon thousands of teachers, university professors, medical doctors and hospital staff, engineers and other professionals who are sorely needed, have been dismissed within the debaathification process, and far too many of those cases have yet to be reviewed.*
But I'd like to point out that it's not just teachers who are getting their jobs back. According to this AP article "generals and other senior officers" from Saddam's army are going to be running the new Iraqi army, (seventy percent of which used to be part of the old Iraqi army, according to Kimmitt at today's briefing). But I guess none of those generals have blood on their hands, because, you know, Bremer said so.