Thursday, March 5, 2009

Iraq's Post-1950 History Revisited: Part 14

(See parts 1-13 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private contractors who are still occupying Iraqi soil (in support of special U.S. corporate interests) to finally be withdrawn from Iraq by Easter 2009.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?

Following the Democratic Kennedy Administration-backed February 8, 1963 military coup in Iraq, the then-pro-Ba'thist colonel, Abdel Salem Aref, was named to head the post-coup Ba'th regime in Iraq. And between February and November 1963, there apparently was a reign of terror against Iraqi leftists during this first Ba'th regime.

According to the 1978-published book, The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq:

"The new rulers had a past score to settle and, in their revengeful ardor, went to unfortunate extremes. Upon the slightest resistance on or a mere suspicion of intent to resist, Communists--real or hypothetical--were felled out of hand. The number of those seized so taxed the existing prisons that sports clubs, movie theatres, private houses, An-Rihayah Palace…were turned into places of confinement. The arrests were made in accordance with lists prepared beforehand."

The Kennedy Administration's CIA apparently helped prepare the Ba'th regime's arrests "lists." As the now-deceased King Hussein of Jordan told the Al Ahraim newspaper on September 27, 1963:

"I know for a certainty that what happened on 8 February [1963] had the support of American intelligence. Some of those who now rule in Bagdad do not know of this thing but I am aware of the truth. Numerous meetings were held between the Ba'th party and American Intelligence, the most important in Kuwait. Do you know that on 8 February a secret radio beamed to Iraq was supplying the men who pulled the coup with the names and addresses of the Communists there so that they could be arrested and executed?"

According to A Brutal Friendship--The West and the Arab Elite by Said Aburish, a Time magazine reporter named William McHale was apparently also an undercover CIA operative in Beirut who furnished Ba'th leaders with a list of Iraqi communist suspects. McHale had previously been expelled from Iraq on March 26, 1959, after interviewing Qasim and then writing a hostile article for Time magazine about the Qasim regime's successful suppression of the Ba'thist-supported 1959 coup attempt in Mosul.

In his April 10, 2003 investigative report, UPI Intelligence Correspondent Richard Sale also revealed that "the CIA provided the submachine gun-toting" Ba'thist National Guardsmen of the post-coup regime "with lists of suspected communists who were then jailed, interrogated, and summarily gunned down, according to former U.S. intelligence officials with intimate knowledge of the executions."

According to Sale's "Exclusive: Saddam key in early CIA plot" investigative report:

"Many suspected communists were killed outright, these sources said. [Unholy Babylon book author Adel] Darwish told UPI that the mass killings, presided over by Saddam, took place at Qasr al-Nehayat, literally, the Palace of the End.

"A former senior U.S. State Department official told UPI: `We were frankly glad to be rid of them. You ask that they get a fair trial? You have to be kidding. This was serious business.'”

"British scholar Con Coughlin, author of Saddam: King of Terror, quotes Jim Critchfield, then a senior Middle East agency official, as saying the killing of Qasim and the communists was regarded `as a great victory.' A former long-time covert U.S. intelligence operative and friend of Critchfield said: `Jim was an old Middle East hand. He wasn't sorry to see the communists go at all. Hey, we were playing for keeps.'"

(end of part 14)

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