Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Iraq's Post-1950 History Revisited: Part 13

(See parts 1-12 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private contractors who are still occupying Iraqi soil (in support of special U.S. corporate interests) to finally be withdrawn from Iraq by Easter 2009.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?

At 8:30 a.m. on February 8, 1963, Brigade General Jalal al-Awqati, the pro-Iraq Communist Party Air Force chief, was assassinated near a confectionary shop in Baghdad. Next--at 9:30 a.m.--two Iraqi military jets first dive-bombed at Rashid Airport, making its runway unusable. Then they joined other Iraqi MIG-17s in firing rockets and cannons at the Iraqi Ministry of Defense.

From their camps, other Iraqi military troops were also ordered to then march and Baghdad's radio transmitter was seized by the Iraqi military coup-plotters. And by 9:40 a.m. a statement of the Ba'th-led coup plotters was being aired over the radio.

At 10 a.m., however, the Iraq Communist Party’s Central Committee issued a proclamation that called for resistance to the February 8, 1963 coup and stated:

"A worthless band of reactionary and conspiratorial officers has made a desperate attempt to seize power in preparation for the putting of our country back into the grip of imperialism and reaction."

Thousands of Iraq Communist Party and/or Qasim regime supporters then began massing in front of Iraq's Ministry of Defense, forming an outer ring. And when Qasim arrived at the Ministry of Defense at 10:30 a.m., the crowd of anti-coup demonstrators outside apparently was begging Ministry of Defense officials to distribute arms to it.

In addition, on the other side of Baghdad, meanwhile, Iraqi communist protesters tried to rush the Broadcasting House which the Ba'thist coup leaders had seized. But the Iraqi Army's Fourth Tank Regiment blocked the protesters from gaining control of Baghdad's radio transmitter.

At 11:30 a.m. hundreds of anti-coup protesters were then killed in front of the Ministry of Defense when an Iraqi Army tank regiment linked up with armed Ba'th militia members and fired on the mainly civilian protesters. Although the majority of Iraq's soldiers apparently were against the February 8, 1963 coup, they were indecisive, however, in attempting to resist the coup.

At 3 p.m. a battle to seize Qasim's headquarters at the Ministry of Defense began which did not end until noon of the following day, February 9, 1963. A half-hour later after the battle to seize Qasim's headquarters ended, Qasim was arrested by the pro-coup soldiers; and at 1:30 p.m. on February 9, 1963 Qasim was then executed.

In the fighting in Baghdad between February 8 and 10, 1963, 5,000 Iraqi citizens were apparently killed, including 80 Ba'th Party activists and 340 Iraqi communist activists. (end of part 13)

No comments: