Latest news on how the security agreement is encouraging political reconciliation
Sources close to Maliki told a reporter for the UAE paper Al-Akhbar al-Khaleej that Maliki is going to issue a regulation with the force of law barring officers in the Iraqi armed forces from visiting Syria, and the reason is he fears they will link up with Iraqi Baathist ex-officers living there belonging to what is now called the Awda ("return") Party. These ex-officers
have become clearly active in recent months, and have been polarizing around members that are close to the [Iraqi] security and military apparatus!In a somewhat related matter, the newspaper Azzaman says the Elections Commission has allowed the candidacy of 14,800 individuals to run in the coming provincial elections, a number that is 5000 less than announced a few days ago. The head of the Elections Commission said there were some who withdrew, and some were excluded because of issues relating to the law on De-Baathification. The journalist notes that the law on De-Baathification doesn't exist any more, having been replaced by the Law on Responsibility and Justice. He leaves the matter there. The Azzaman headline-writer understood the point this way: "The Iraqi Elections commission refuses 5000 candidacies because of matters related to the Law on Responsibility."
They have channels of communication with officers present in Iraq! And in a related matter they feel resentment over the fact that the hero of the battle of Umm Qasr (March 2003 resistance against the American invasion) Walid Hamid al-Nasari to 15 years in prison [on charges relating to the suppression of a 1991 uprising], something they regard as a deliberate slander of the Iraqi military institution, and as aimed in particular at those officers who resisted the American invasion in 2003....