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Foreign Policy -- Unnecessary War

Talking Points on Iraq

A User's Guide to this War: Six Articles from Insiders   (.pdf file)

With each passing day, it seems that our nation moves closer to starting another overt war, even though covertly & overtly we have been at war three times per week with the fictive state, "Iraq." For those who don't know, the US/Britain have been bombing the country continuously since (circa) 1991! During the bombing raids/attacks, civilians and livestock have been killed; the infrastructure of the country has further been destroyed (schools, hospitals, neighborhoods, etc.), even though this has been reported in international newspapers, rarely does this news reach US, why is this? Shouldn't we know what our country is doing in OUR names?! Through the bombing campaign, Gulf War, depleted uranium, intentional destruction of their water supply, and economic sanctions, the following has also happened:

The "Pentagon builds case to bomb Iraq", why does the Pentagon need to build a case? If Iraq was found guilty in the past by the Pentagon, then the case should have built some time ago, right? Or is it that the Pentagon needs to prepare and falsify documents and "intelligence" information so that they can justify their continued assault on Iraq? The U.S. has been bombing Iraq at least 3 times weekly since the "Gulf War" ended).

The conflict that the US & Britain now have with Iraq, is much more complex than the media allows you to believe. I would suggest that you do "research" on your own to get a better picture and view of what is going on in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Central/South America, but especially now in Iraq, since Bush and company have had an agenda of their own before they stole the election.

Nonetheless, it is important for US to become knowledgeable about "Iraq," "Saddam Hussein," "the Bush Family," "Iraqgate," and the other players in this new old war with Iraq. Below, you will find a brief history of what we now call Iraq. In order to understand the current situation in the region, it is important for US and the world to know the history of Iraq.

Brief Histroy of Iraq

British influence

During the First World War, which broke out in 1914, Turkey became a German ally along with Austria in a global conflict against Britain and France. Just before that time Arab independence movements were picking momentum. Arab leaders in many parts of the Arab world -including the Hashemite family of Hussein ibn-Ali promised to aid Britain by revolting against the Ottoman Turks. Arab cooperation came about when Britain agreed to recognize Arab independence after the war. The Ottoman empire collapsed when British forces invaded Mesopotamia in 1917 and occupied Baghdad. An armistice was signed with Turkey in 1918.

Arab leaders expected to work out the details of Arab independence. But in 1920 the international League of Nations assigned pieces of the Ottoman empire to the victors, putting Mesopotamia under a British administration. This arrangement, called a mandate, meant that Britain would establish a responsible Arab government in the territory according to a league-approved timetable. The failure of the British to fulfill their promises of independence encouraged Arab nationalism. Now the country became a British Mandate - due, in no small part, to the British interest in Iraqi oil fields, and because they wanted to build a transcontinental railroad from Europe, across Turkey, and down through Iraq to Kuwait on the Persian Gulf. This railroad would allow a direct trade route with India without having to skirt Africa. Local unrest (Thawrah), however, resulted in an Iraqi uprising in 1920, and after costly attempts to quell this, the British government decided to draw up a new plan for the state of Iraq.

The British government had laid out the institutional framework for Iraqi government and politics; the Iraqi political system suffered from a severe legitimacy crisis; Britain imposed a Hashimite (also seen as Hashemite) monarchy, defined the territorial limits of Iraq with little correspondence to natural frontiers or traditional tribal and ethnic settlements, and influenced the writing of a constitution and the structure of parliament. The British also supported narrowly based groups--such as the tribal shaykhs--over the growing, urban-based nationalist movement, and resorted to military force when British interests were threatened, as in the 1941 Rashid Ali Al-Gaylani coup.

Iraq was to be a kingdom, under the rule of Emir Faisal ibn Hussain, brother of the new ruler of neighboring Jordan, Abdallah, a member of the Hashemite family, and although the monarch was elected and proclaimed King by plebiscite in 1921, full independence was not achieved until 1932, when the British Mandate was officially terminated. In 1927, discovery of huge oil fields near Karkuk brought many improvements to Iraq. The Iraqis granted oil rights to the Iraqi Petroleum Company -a British dominated, multinational firm.

Iraq joined the League of Nations in the October of that year, and was officially recognized as an independent sovereign state. On Faisal's death in 1933, he was succeeded by his son, King Ghazi I. In March 1945, Iraq became a founding member of the League of Arab States (Arab League), which included Egypt, Transjordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Yemen. And in December 1945, Iraq joined the United Nations (UN).

The growing state

In 1936 King Ghazi I formed an alliance with other Arab nations, known as the Pan-Arab movement. This was, in effect, a non-aggression treaty, and promising kinship between Arab countries. Also in 1936 Iraq experienced its first military coup d'etat--the first coup d'etat in the modern Arab world, led by General Bakr Sidqi. The Sidqi coup (29th of October, 1936) marked a major turning point in Iraqi history; it made a crucial breach in the constitution, and it opened the door to further military involvement in politics. Ghazi sanctioned Sulayman's government (Hikmat Sulayman was one of the agents of the coup along with General Bakr Sidqi) even though it had achieved power unconstitutionally, overthrowing Yasin al-Hashimi's government, killing Ja'afar al-Askari its Minister of Defense. Eventually, Sidqi's excesses alienated both his civilian and his military supporters, and he was murdered by a military group in August 1937.

In 1938 King Ghazi decided to attempt to realize his ambition of annexing Kuwait, part of his dream to lead the Fertile Crescent movement [King Ghazi announced from Qasr al-Zohour radio station that he was looking forward to the day when Syria, Palestine, and Kuwait were united to Iraq]. With a combination of propaganda (Qasr al-Zohour radio station), and military intimidation, he began to foment dissent in Kuwait, exploiting the aspirations of sections of the Kuwaiti middle class, which sought greater participation in government. But, at a critical moment, when Iraqi troops had massed near Kuwait's northern border, Ghazi's obsession with fast motor cars proved his undoing. The king drove his car into a lamppost and died instantly on the 3rd of April 1939.

King Ghazi was succeeded by his three-year-old son, Faisal II, under a regency. Ghazi's first cousin, Amir Abd al Ilah, was made regent. Faisal, the cousin of Jordan's late King Hussein bin Talal, did not assume the throne formally until his eighteenth birthday, in May 1953. Whereas Faisal and Ghazi had been strong Arab nationalists and had opposed the British-supported tribal shaykhs, Abd al Ilah and Nuri as-Said were Iraqi nationalists who relied on the tribal shaykhs as a counterforce against the growing urban nationalist movement. By the end of the 1930s, Pan-Arabism had become a powerful ideological force in the Iraqi military, especially among younger officers who hailed from the northern provinces and who had suffered economically from the partition of the Ottoman Empire. The British role in quelling the Palestine revolt of 1936 to 1939 further intensified anti-British sentiments in the military and led a group of disgruntled officers to form the Free Officers' Movement, which aimed at overthrowing the monarchy.

During the earlier part of World War II, Iraq's government was strongly pro-British, however, the Iraqi nationalist, and ardent Anglophobe Rashid Ali Al-Gaylani succeeded Nuri as-Said as prime minister. The new prime minister sought close ties with Nazi Germany in hope to release Iraq from British domination. Rashid Ali proposed restrictions on British troops movements in Iraq. Abd al Ilah and Nuri as-Said both were proponents of close cooperation with Britain. They opposed Rashid Ali's policies and pressed him to resign. In response, the army surrounded The Royal palace in Baghdad on April 1,1941. The regent and his entourage escaped to Habbaniyah, from there to Basrah and thence to Amman in Transjordan. Rashid Ali and four generals dubbed the "Golden Square", led a military coup, on April 3, 1941, that ousted Nuri as-Said and the regent; and announced that the temporarily absent regent was deposed.

Backed by the German embassy in Baghdad headed by Dr F. Grobba, which generously supplied money, books and films, the sentiments against the Jews were fuelled. There were demonstrations against the British and Jews by hoodlums and students who had taken to the streets.

Shortly after seizing power in 1941, Rashid Ali Al-Gaylani appointed an ultranationalist civilian cabinet, which gave only conditional consent to British requests in April 1941 for troop landings in Iraq. The British quickly retaliated by landing forces at Basrah on April 19, justifying this second occupation of Iraq by citing Rashid Ali's violation of the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of 1930. Many Iraqis regarded the move as an attempt to restore British rule. Iraqi troops were then concentrated around the British air base at Habbaniyah, west of Baghdad; and on May 2 the British commander there opened hostilities, lest the Iraqis should attack first. Having won the upper hand at Habbaniyah and been reinforced from Palestine, the British troops from the air base marched on Baghdad. The ensuing war between Britain and Iraq lasted less than a month, as the British steadily advanced, and on May 30th Rashid Ali Al-Gaylani and his government fled the country.

On the same day an evil conspiracy carried out by Yunis Al Sabawi, head of Nazi groups, who declared himself governor of central southern Iraq. He ordered Jews through Hakham Sasson Khedouri, to remain in their homes from Saturday, May 31 until Monday, June 2 ?Shabu'oth. with the intention of slaughtering the Jews that weekend using the Nazi youth organizations he was heading. However, miraculously, Sabawi was deported to the Iranian border that same day. On May 31,1941 it was announced that the Regent with his entourage would be returning to Baghdad next day. The Farhud took place Sunday and Monday, June 1st and 2nd 1941, the two days of Shabu'oth. The word Farhud denotes the breakdown of law and order, where life and property are in peril.

June 1, '41, the first day of Shabu'oth: A delegation of Jews went to the airport to welcome the Regent. On their way back they were attacked on Al Khurr Bridge by soldiers and civilians. One Jew was killed, and many injured who were taken to the hospital. Terror continued until 10 p.m.

June 2,1941: at 5 p.m., curfew was declared and anyone who showed himself in the streets was shot on the spot. Official Iraqi reports mention 187 killed in both days of the Farhud. During those difficult times, many Iraqi Moslems opened their homes and fed and protected the Jews.

Rashid Ali Al-Gaylani and his government fled to Iran on his way to Germany, as a guest of the Fuehrer, he spent the remainder of the war broadcasting to the Arab world and planning to regain power when German pincers from Egypt and the Caucasus finally met at the Persian Gulf. He survived the war and escaped to Saudi Arabia where he was granted asylum, returning to Iraq after the 1958 revolution. A new, pro-British government was established. Abd al Ilah was reinstated as regent; Nuri became prime minister; and the British military presence remained to uphold them. In the following year Iraq became an important Middle Eastern supply centre for American and British forces, particularly with regard to the trans-shipment of arms to the USSR. [Click here for the rest of the history.]

Other Resources on Iraq's History

The deep politics of regime removal in Iraq: overt conquest, covert operations Blood, Oil, and Sand: The Hidden History of America's War on Iraq Iraq Resource Information Site - News History Culture People Archeology Mythology Sanctions Saddam Hussein Iran Iraq Persian Gulf War Pictures Iraq Geo-Political Historical Timeline Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein - Press Release The United States and Middle East: Why Do 'They' Hate Us?

You may be wondering, why should I oppose the new old overt war with Iraq; well I am against the WAR because it's
  • Saddam Hussein and "Iraq" do not pose a threat and cannot take away our "freedoms," only our GOVERNMENT can (our freedoms come from the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc., right?)
  • since veterans of past wars are against this new WAR on "Iraq", what does that say about the validity of the war that the {P}resident (who is not a veteran) wants
  • the war will result in THOUSANDS or more civilian deaths--collateral damage, read the past war crimes
  • the common people of the U.S. do not AND WILL NOT benefit
  • Bush and company are using the WAR to hide their past/present covert/overt/illegal relationship[Iraggate] with Saddam Hussein and his regime
  • war does not resolve issues or problems, instead it creates more conflict, and
  • IT will NOT bring about PEACE

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