American’s top man in Baghdad, L. Paul Bremer, last week fired 28,000 Iraqi teachers as political punishment for their former membership in the Saddam Hussein-dominated Baath Party, fueling anti-U.S. resistance on the ground, administration officials have told United Press International.
If true, this is truly, truly, stupid. My understanding is that almost anyone who wanted to have a decent government job (including teaching) had to become a Baath Party member in order to keep their job. Imagine if someone “liberated” the U.S. and fired everyone who supported George Bush in order to keep their jobs!!!
So now what do we have? Thousands of intellectuals without a job and a deep resentment of the U.S., how is that supposed to help us? What about the need for qualified teachers? You’d think they would have learned from their equally stupid decision “to disband without pay the Iraqi military force of 400,000 men” earlier in the year?