Purging the Baathists

PURGING THE BAATHISTS….Jeanne d’Arc is puzzled by our inconsistent approach toward Baath party members in postwar Iraq:

We’re purging Baath Party members from universities and the oil industry (hmmmmmmm…) ? two places where you’d expect to find plenty of people who just went along to keep their jobs ? but we continue to get along just fine with the Baathist police and military, and even install them in power.

Pardon my ignorance, but in a police state, aren’t the police likely to be the people you most have to worry about? If a country is a military monster ? Iraq was a dangerous military monster, right? A threat to the entire world? ? are generals likely to be uncompromised?

That does seem odd, doesn’t it? I assume we’re probably doing this because we were unprepared for the size of the policing effort that would be required and now find that we have a choice between anarchy and the Baathists. So we’ve chosen the Baathists.

I guess that’s understandable, but I’m with Jeanne on this anyway: it just doesn’t smell right. I hope there’s not more here than meets the eye.