Iraq: August 12, 2003

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 The occupation authorities, at the urgings of the majority of Iraqis, are firing most Baath Party members from their jobs. The coalition occupation authorities had resisted this, because many of the most competent and experienced government and industry executives were Baath Party members. It was thought that most Iraqis would understand that no senior government or industry executive could hold a job during Saddam's time, without being a Baath Party member. But the majority of Iraqis are so bitter about the depredations of the Baath Party over the last three decades that they are adamant that Baath Party members be kept out of senior level jobs. But this creates some problems in finding Iraqis with managerial experience or technical training to run key operations. Iraq has serious reconstruction problems because of the massive looting and sabotage attacks by Sunni Arabs. The coalition is bringing in foreign managers and technical people to help out, but this is only a partial solution because of language and cultural differences.

 

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