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The Legacy of IraqFrom the 2003 War to the 'Islamic State'$
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Benjamin Isakhan

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748696161

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748696161.001.0001

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The De-Baathification of post-2003 Iraq: Purging the Past for Political Power

The De-Baathification of post-2003 Iraq: Purging the Past for Political Power

(p.21) Chapter 1 The De-Baathification of post-2003 Iraq: Purging the Past for Political Power
The Legacy of Iraq

Benjamin Isakhan

Edinburgh University Press

Following the toppling of the Baathist regime in May 2003, the United States established the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), which was to serve as the occupational authority and interim government of Iraq. This chapter examines the ongoing legacy of the CPA's plan to de-Baathify Iraq. It outlines the efforts by Iraqi lawmakers to codify de-Baathification in Iraq's new constitution of 2005 as well as in subsequent pieces of more detailed legislation. It studies the actual implementation of these laws in relation to the Iraqi parliamentary elections of 2010 and 2014, as well as the local elections of 2013. Throughout the chapter, special emphasis is given to the considerable discrepancies between the principles enshrined in the formal de-Baathification legislation and the way those principles are applied in practice. It concludes by suggesting that Iraq needs to openly and honestly deal with its Baathist past if it is ever to move beyond patterns of political sectarianism, violence, and autocracy.

Keywords:   Iraq War, de-Baathification, Coalition Provisional Authority, United States, Baathist regime, political sectarianism, violence, autocracy

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