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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Who says there are no good guys in the Middle East?

Certainly not the BBC. Here's their woman in Damascus feeling the pain of Iraqi Baathists exiled in Syria.

'"There are hundreds of thousands of supporters of the former regime among these refugees. What should we do... jail them all?" asks Samir al-Taqi, an analyst with a pro-government Syrian think tank.'

Pity all the anti-government think tanks were unavailable for comment.

'Mr Taqi argues that what is radicalising many Baathists further is the failure of the Iraqi government to involve them in the political process.'

Yes indeed, whereas the willingness to reach out to its opponents is the secret of Baathism's enduring popular appeal. Look at the al-Assad dynasty - they haven't lost an election in 47 years.

It's funny, I thought the progressive complaint was always that the post-war denazification of Germany was much too lax. By this reasoning it shouldn't have been attempted at all.

Seriously, though. I'm not saying that it was very clever to make an enemy out of every ordinary Joe who joined Saddam's party to get a job. But compare and contrast the understanding and sympathy we are being prompted to show towards these ordinary Joes with the apoplectic reactions to those other ordinary Joes, not so far away, who want homes even if they're built on land which, in the eyes of the rest of the world, doesn't belong to their country.

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