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In the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Saddam Hussein, the man who ruled the country with an iron fist, was captured. He was then executed by the new Iraqi government. However despite what most people believe, taking out Saddam wasn't the problem, taking out his political party - was. In June 2003, the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority of Iraq banned the Iraqi Ba'ath party and all its members. This was the most ill-conceived decision in the whole invasion of Iraq affair, as it completely upset the fragile balance of power that existed in the Middle East.
With this ban, every public sector employee affiliated with the Ba'ath Party was removed from position, and was banned from any future employment in the public sector. But in a totalitarian state as Saddam’s Iraq, being a member of the Ba’ath Party was more a necessity than a choice. It’s like saying that the Soviet Communist Party and its members should have been banned from the public sector when the USSR collapsed. Following the prohibition of Ba’athists from the public sector, thousands of experienced people were excluded from participating in the new government, people such as doctors, professors, bureaucrats, etc. However, perhaps the most important change was that the ban effectively dismantled the Iraqi military and security apparatus, because everyone involved was a member of the Ba’ath Party. Back then the US thought that this was necessary to create a new Iraqi government from scratch. But what it really did was create a void of power; a void that was quickly filled by Iraq’s Shia Muslim majority, with strong support and coordination from Iran. So what really happened was that the US attacked and occupied Iraq, passed legislation, and then immidiately lost the country from right under its nose to Iran. We discussed the rise of Iranian geopolitics and more in a previous CaspianReport.
Decisions Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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