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Democracy Lesson Learned In Iraq

So were these officials actively undermining Iraq's government - or are they political rivals taken out with one big swoop? If the latter, then Bush

So were these officials actively undermining Iraq's government - or are they political rivals taken out with one big swoop?

If the latter, then Bush certainly has turned Iraq into his kind of "democracy":

BAGHDAD, Dec. 18 -- At least 34 Iraqi security officials inside Iraq's Interior Ministry have been arrested, possibly in connection with corruption and working to rebuild an illegal party formed by supporters of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party, according to several ministry officials.

Those arrested, both Sunnis and Shiites, include high-ranking generals at the Interior Ministry, which oversees the country's police and other security services. Most of those arrested -- at least 17 -- were members of the traffic police, including the general who leads the department, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The arrests were made by a special counterterrorism task force that reports to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the officials said.

It was unclear precisely why the officials were arrested. Some said it was because they were involved in corruption involving the issuing of fake documents and car license plates. Others described a more diabolical plot to resurrect al-Awda, or the Return, a party composed of Hussein's loyalists that has been banned by the government. "It's a political group to resist against the government," said an Interior Ministry officer.

Also unknown was whether the officials were trying to plot the overthrow of Maliki, who has been trying to cement his power in recent months, raising tensions with various political parties. At least six additional officials were being sought for arrest, the officials said.

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