Saturday, August 30, 2003

Another Stupid Iraq Decision

"The de-Ba'athification decree is the most popular thing we have done here," a senior coalition official said.

It was strongly promoted by Washington neo-conservatives like Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defence, and his friend, Ahmed Chalabi, a businessman convicted in Jordan of fraud who is now a member of Iraq's governing council.

"The problem is they didn't look at who were really leaders. They made the issue of rank too important and went down too low," said Husam al-Rawi, a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and a professor in Baghdad University's architecture department. "Instead of targeting a thousand or a few hundred people, they targeted 80,000."

When Baghdad University and Iraq's other colleges re-open next week, around 2,000 senior staff have been told to stay at home, Dr Kubaisy estimates. Although they were Ba'ath party members, none was connected to the former regime's security apparatus.

"It's collective punishment. It's conviction without any charge," Dr Kubaisy said yesterday. "I'm becoming a bit paranoid but I think the Americans intend to force Iraqi brains to go abroad".

Anger was the prevailing mood among large sections of the Baghdad middle class, he said. People felt criminalised.

EL -- No wonder the Arab world says America is Israel's happy little puppet. From going to war without any pretext, to dissolving the Iraqi 400,000 man Army to removing 80,000 educated Iraqi's from their jobs - how did any of this benefit the US? Latest example of how not to rebuild Iraq.

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