Monday, January 14, 2008

The Media Takes Another Baath on Iraq

The Iraqi parliament's approval last weekend of a so-called Justice and Accountability Law that would open government jobs to former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party who were barred from office after the U.S. invasion is being hailed as proof that national reconciliation is finally under way.

But the reality, as Solomon Moore explains in a New York Times news analysis, is rather different because the law:

* Has so many loopholes that some Sunni and Shiite officials say it could actually exclude more former Baathists than it lets back in, particularly in crucial security ministries.

* Would be directly at odds with the American campaign to draft Sunni Arabs into so-called Awakening militias because it would preclude them from being integrated into police and military units.

But perhaps the greatest indication that the law is deeply flawed comes from American officials themselves who have gone to great pains to put off answering questions about it.

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