OVER THERE

Grave Mistake in Iraq

Saddam Hussein's brutal regime understandably left his Baath party's credibility in tatters, but American officials are worried that the dictator's ex-supporters are not being incorporated into the current government. The result is further sectarian division that may be behind the latest wave of bombings, which have killed scores in recent days. While Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has pledged to reconcile with Sunni groups that used to back the former dictator, instead his stance seems to be hardening, much to Washington's chagrin. Recently he blamed a major bombing on the Baath party, which he said was “filled with hate from head to toe.” U.S. officials are hoping that aggressive peace efforts will help separate extremist Sunni groups from ones amenable to mainstream government.