One of the most criticized decisions made by the U.S. back in 2003 when it stumbled into Iraq like a drunk Mel Gibson at a bar mitzvah was the disbanding of the Iraqi army. All these years later, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is reinstating 20,000 of Saddam Hussein’s officers.

The move has been criticized by Maliki’s political opposition as a stunt.

When the Coalition Provisional Authority sent the soldiers packing after the invasion, it created a huge pool from which the insurgency could draw angry men with guns and the knowledge to use them. — PZS

New York Times:

The Iraqi government said Thursday that it would reinstate 20,000 army officers who served under Saddam Hussein, a surprising move given that Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has focused his campaign in the coming parliamentary elections around denouncing the former Baath government.

Mohammed al-Askari, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, said the prime minister approved the reinstatement of the officers, which he said would begin immediately.

Read more

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface.  We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig