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Cablegate: Prt Tikrit: De-Baathification Continues to Plague

VZCZCXRO9462
RR RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #2435 2040635
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 230635Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2383
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 002435

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINR ECON IZ
SUBJECT: PRT TIKRIT: DE-BAATHIFICATION CONTINUES TO PLAGUE
SALAH AD DIN

1. (U) This is a PRT Tikrit, Salah ad Din cable.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY. Salah ad Din's continued receipt of de-
Baathification orders to remove individuals with ties to
the former regime from their government positions, many of
which it has chosen to ignore, is eroding the central GOI's
influence in the province and causing many of SaD Sunnis to
question if the GOI wants to incorporate former members of
the Baath Party in Iraq's new democracy. On July 9, 11
more Tikrit professors who were low-level Baath Party
members received debaathification orders. The University
removed them from their positions, though maintains them as
lecturers due to a lack of qualified replacements.
Additionally, the Higher National De-Baathification
Commission continues to attempt to remove key provincial
government officials, many of whom are participating in the
democratic process and working to reconstruct the province.
Thus far, the Governor has ignored these orders,
recognizing the political sensitivities and potentially
disastrous effects. While the effects of de-Baathification
are most obvious with the unemployment it has caused
throughout the province, most SaD Sunnis see it as a
psychological symbol of what they perceive to be a Shia-
dominated government's rejection of their participation in
the political process. In the eyes of SaD Sunnis,
political reconciliation hangs almost exclusively on the
reformation of the de-Baathification regulations. END
SUMMARY.

--------------------------------
11 More Professors De-Baathified
--------------------------------

3. (SBU) On July 9, 11 more Tikrit University professors
who were low-level Baath Party members received
debaathification orders. The University immediately
removed them from their positions, as many of them were
heads of departments, but has continued employing them as
lecturers due to a lack of qualified replacements.
Counting those recently issued de-Baathification orders, 28
of the university's professors now have been removed from
their positions.

4. (SBU) Since late 2006, the Higher National De-
Baathification Commision (HNDBC) has had a reactive method
of sending de-Baathification orders. For instance, the
Commission only investigates an individual's former
Baathist ties after it receives a tip or after it
"remembers" an individual may have been a Baathist. SaD
residents have felt this technique makes the process uneven
and opaque. Several high-level SaD government officials,
including the Deputy Governor and the Assistant Governor
for Technical Affairs, received de-Baathification orders
during this time. The Governor chose not to enact them for
fear of the effect on the province's reconstruction
efforts.

5. (SBU) The provincial office of the HNDBC reports that
over 200 teachers, 86 healthcare professionals, 4 judges,
330 police officers, and hundreds of other local government
technocrats are still among those who have fully submitted
their files to be re-hired to their positions. To date,
the province has not received a response on most of those
cases. (NOTE: Approximately 300 teachers who received de-
Ba'athification orders were re-hired in January. However,
the DG of Education says that he is not sure why some were
re-hired and others were not. He claims that 200 more
qualify to be re-hired. END NOTE.)

-------
Comment
-------

6. (SBU) In the eyes of SaD Sunnis, political
reconciliation hangs almost exclusively on the reformation
of the HNDBC and its regulations. While de-Baathification
is most tangible for the unemployment it has caused in the
province, most SaD Sunnis see it as a psychological symbol
of what they perceive to be a Shia-dominated government's
rejection of their participation in the political process.
Salah ad Din's continued receipt of de-baathification
orders, many of which it has chosen to ignore, is eroding
the central GOI's influence in the province and causing
many of SaD Sunnis to question if the GOI wants to
incorporate former members of the Baath Party in Iraq's new
democracy. END COMMENT.

7. (U) For additional reporting from PRT Tikrit, Salah ad
Din, please see our SIPRNET Reporting Blog:
http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Tikrit.
CROCKER

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