Sunday, March 1, 2009

Iraq's Post-1950 History Revisited: Part 10

(See parts 1-9 below)

Most people in the United States would like to see the nearly 150,000 U.S. troops and 200,000 private contractors who are still occupying Iraqi soil (in support of special U.S. corporate interests) to finally be withdrawn from Iraq by Easter 2009. But the Democratic Obama regime is still not willing to immediately bring U.S. troops and private contractors in Iraq back home; and the Obama regime apparently plans to leave between 30,000 and 50,000 U.S. occupation troops stationed in Iraq as "military advisors" until January 1, 2012.

Yet if the Obama Administration officials responsible for authorizing the use of U.S. armed forces in Iraq--like U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton--had known more about Iraq's post-1950 history, perhaps U.S. troops and private contractors would not still be spending another Easter in Iraq in 2009?

Qasim's personal survival of the apparently CIA-supported Ba’th botched assassination attempt on his life, combined with the loyalty to Qasim of Iraqi Army troops in Baghdad and the Iraqi communist activist-led "mass demonstrations in support of Qasim's regime which soon filled the streets, paralyzed the military conspirators," (who had aligned themselves with the CIA-Ba'th coup plot and had agreed to establish a pro-Ba'thist military regime), according to the 1969 book Iraq Under Qassem: A Political History: 1958-1963 by Uriel Dann. So the Qasim regime in Iraq was able to survive the October 1959 CIA-Ba'th coup attempt.

While recovering in the hospital, Qasim then allowed the Iraqi Trade Union Federation to regain its legal status on November 11, 1959. But between 1960 and 1963 Qasim still did not allow the Iraq Communist Party to operate as a legal party; and the party's influence in Iraqi society continued to decline. Between May 1959 and early 1963, for example, membership in the Iraq Communist Party decreased from 25,000 to 10,000.

Although immense Iraqi crowds greeted the then-First Deputy Prime Minister of the Soviet Union Anastas Mikoyan when he visited Iraq in April 1960, Qasim continued to pursue an anti-communist domestic policy in 1960 and 1961. He suppressed Iraq Communist Party newspapers; so by October 1, 1960 only one Iraq Communist Party newspaper was allowed to publish in Iraq. Qasim also started to remove individual Iraqi communist party activists from their posts in his government's civil service bureaucracy in 1960 and 1961, although the Iraqi Air Force Chief position was still held by a supporter of the Iraq Communist Party as late as February 1963.

The Baghdad center of the Iraqi communist activists-led Democratic Youth Federation was also shut down by Qasim on May 7, 1960; and, by the end of July 1960, 226 Democratic Youth Federation activists were detained by the regime. In October 1960 Qasim also ordered Iraqi police to raid the headquarters of the Democratic Youth Federation. (end of part 10)

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