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Juan Cole: Maliki Government Resists Deal with Baathists

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laststeamtrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-26-09 06:41 AM
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Juan Cole: Maliki Government Resists Deal with Baathists
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Maliki Government Resists Deal with Baathists

The NYT reports that behind the scenes the US has been pressuring Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to find a way to reconcile with former Baathist elements, but that he has refused.

Actually the Arab press has been reporting for some time on this issue. From the point of view of an Iraqi government dominated by fundamentalist Shiites and by Kurds, the Baath Party had been putting them in mass graves for the previous three decades and they refuse to deal with it. In fact, they consider it positively unconstitutional to have any dealings with the Baath Party. The NYT ascribes the problem mainly to al-Maliki and ironically enough quotes Ahmad Chalabi as more reasonable. Chalabi spear-headed the effort to "debaathify" Iraq and urged that the party be treated as Nazi, and served on the Debaathification Commission alongside al-Maliki.

All the Sunni-majority provinces roundly rejected the constitution to which the Iraqi government is now appealing, and you can't have a national government under those conditions.

This is why Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's characterization of the Sunni Arab guerrilla's actions as the last gasp of rejectionists is wishful thinking (not to mention un-artful in evoking Dick Cheney so powerfully).

Many Sunni Arabs in Iraq and in the Arab world are simply not reconciled to Iraq being ruled by pro-Iran Shiite fundamentalist parties in alliance with Kurdish autonomists. What distinguishes the guerrillas is not their greater rejectionism but their continued hope that direct action can change the status quo, which many Sunni Arabs have given up on. ...

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