Do not shelter Ba'athist in Kurdistan! - By Hemin Ahmad

When the dictatorial regime of Saddam collapsed, a large number of senior Ba'ath party members sought sanctuary in neighboring Arab countries, mainly Syria.

One of the key architect of Ba'ath party, Izzat Ibrahim Al-Douri, a military commander, vice-president and Deputy Chairman of the Iraqi Revolutionary Command Council, is still on the loose. Despite going into hiding, he directed and funded the Iraqi insurgency against U.S. forces.

Among other most wanted Ba'athists, whose whereabouts are still unknown, are: Sayf al-Din Fulayyih Hasan Taha, Iraqi Republican Guard Chief of staff;  Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti , Director, Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS); and abd al-Baqi abd al-Karim al-Abdallah al-Sadun, Central Ba'ath Party Regional Command Chairman, in Diyala Region.

Ba'athists were reintegrated back in public sector in 2008, when Iraq's presidency council ratified the controversial Justice and Accountability Law, permitting the lower and intermediate ranks of the Party (roughly 40,000 people) ) to hold government posts. Since then, the concept and ideology of Ba'athism has revived once again, and its influence steadily burgeoned in Iraqi political system. The threat is spilling over to Kurdistan now!

Two new post-invasion, well-distinguished faces of neo-Ba'ath party include: Tariq al-Hashemi, Iraq's Vice-President and Saleh Muhammed al-Mutlaq , deputy prime ministers of Iraq, both of whom lately fled to Kurdistan following accusations  of involvement in the bombing attack on the Iraqi Council of Ministers. They were warmly received by Kurdish Regional Government.

Mutlaq has never had reservations to conceal his true proclivity onto Ba'athism: "I'm not connected to the Baath Party and I'm not part of the Baath Party, but if I want to be part of the Baath Party, I'm not ashamed . . . because the existing parties are not much better."he said.

Such outspoken Ba'athist poses great menace, and should not be harbored by Kurdish officials in Kurdistan. Instead of striving to resolve the dilemmas in Baghdad, Barzani needs to center his focus on strategies on how to contain Ba'athists' rising clout.

Masood Barzanis past and present connection with Ba'athists is great cause of disquiet. Jalal Talabani refusing to sign the execution order of many arrested Ba'ath leaders, including Saddam Hussain's and Tariq Aziz, Saddam�s close advisor and Deputy Prime Minister (1979 - 2003), has not furthered Kurdish interests, as well.

When Talabani was asked in an interview with French television (France 24) that why he did not sign the hanging order of Tariq Aziz, he stated that he was a socialist, and he commiserated with Tariq Aziz because he was an Iraqi Christian, and he was an old man.

Kurdish president failed to hint at the genocides that such individuals had carried out so callously against guiltless Iraqi Kurds during "Anfal and Halabja" operations, as a result of which a number in excess of 200,000 lost their lives.


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Decemer 22, 2011
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