Monday, March 9, 2009

Iraq's Post-1950 History Revisited: Part 17

(See parts 1-16 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private contractors who are still occupying Iraqi soil (in support of special U.S. corporate interests) to finally be withdrawn from Iraq by Easter 2009.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?

After undemocratically seizing Iraqi state power in February 1963, the Ba'th Party leaders "discovered that their opposition to" Qasim's "government was the only factor that held them together," according to The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq. And divisions between pro and anti-Nasser Ba'th leaders, as well as between right and left pan-Arab nationalist Ba'th leaders, led to the first Ba'th regime in Iraq's collapse in November 1963, while 7,000 Iraqi communists still remained imprisoned.

On November 11, 1963, 15 armed Iraqi Army military officers burst into a Ba'th Congress meeting, seized the Ba'th left nationalist faction leaders at gun point and flew them to Madrid. Then, on November 18, 1963, Abdel Salem Aref, his brother, Brigade General Abdel Rahman and their Iraqi Army supporters suppressed the Ba'th National Guard Militia (which had increased in size from 5,000 to 34,000 between February and August 1963) and bombed the Ba'th National Guard Milita headquarters. The first Ba'th regime was thus overthrown; and a new, pro-Nasserist regime was established with Abdel Salem Aref as Head of State.

Revisiting Iraq’s post-1950s history between 1950 to November 1963 thus indicates that U.S. government involvement in Iraq's internal political affairs led to major human rights violations in Iraq by the first U.S.-supported Ba'th regime in 1963. As the Haymarket Books published A People's History of Iraq by Ilario Salucci noted in its chronology of events:

"[In 1963] The Ba'th Party strengthens its ties with the United States, and the CIA lends its support to the party's repression of more than ten thousand people: the bloodbath of that year is to remain in the memories of the Iraqi people forever."

Opponents of an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by the Obama-Clinton Regime sometimes claim the U.S. government still has a moral right to attempt to exercise a special influence on Iraqi history, despite the record of human suffering produced by U.S. government intervention in Iraq since 1950.

But U.S. reparations for the Iraqi people, rather than continued U.S. military occupation of Iraq until January 1, 2012, would seem like the more morally appropriate and democratic U.S. foreign policy to implement in 2009. (end of part 17)

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