It’s about time! In a landmark consensus Iraq’s government has agreed to loosen restrictions on ex-Baathists holding government jobs and positions. This has been what’s been needed a while. A few months back I wrote about how the Baathists were now the “dispossessed” of Iraq — they have all lost position, status, wealth, and lands.
Like the Loyalists in the US after the American Revolution, the Baathists need a solution — unlike the Loyalists there aren’t other countries willing to take them in and recompense them.
It’s time to heal that gap, and it appears that Iraq is taking the right direction. The insurgency goes forever if they do not, and they really can’t afford that. All people in Iraq need normal lives and ability to prosper, not just some. From Yahoo:
Iraq’s top Shi’ite, Sunni Arab and Kurdish political leaders announced on Sunday they had reached consensus on some key measures seen as vital to fostering national reconciliation.
The agreement by the five leaders was one of the most significant political developments in Iraq for months and was quickly welcomed by the United States, which hopes such moves will ease sectarian violence that has killed tens of thousands.
But skeptics will be watching for action amid growing frustration in Washington over the political paralysis that has gripped the government of Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore congratulated Iraq’s leaders on the accord, hailing it in a statement as “an important symbol of their commitment to work together for the benefit of all Iraqis.”
The government bureaucracy was forced out under De-Baathification following the first phase of the second Iraq war — the Sunnis in Baghdad ran the day-to-day of the government while the insane Caligula-like madman, Sadaam Hussein, was dictator.
The incoming government replaced them — but with people who had little experience in governance. While some fault the Maliki government for incompetence, any government rests not just on the powerful leaders, but also on the skill of the public servants to that government. I’ve never been fond of skilled bureaucrats but they are a necessary component of any large country’s governance.