Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Iraq's Post-1950 History Revisited: Part 2

(See below for part 1)

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private contractors who are still occupying Iraqi soil (in support of special U.S. corporate interests) to finally be withdrawn from Iraq by Easter 2009.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

In June of 1953 there were still 164 Iraq Communist Party members imprisoned in Baghdad's Central Jail and 123 party members locked up in the Kut Prison. So on June 18, 1953, in the Baghdad Central Jail, the Iraqi communist prisoners staged a protest. In response, the Baghdad Central Jail guards killed 7 and wounded 81 of the protesting prisoners.

A few months later, on September 2, 1953, the Iraqi communist prisoners at Kut Prison also staged a protest. In response, the regime's troops used machine guns against them, killing 8 and wounding 94 of the protesting prisoners.

Following this 1953 intensification of political repression by the regime, the size of the Iraq Communist Party’s membership in early 1954 was only about 1/8 the size of its membership in 1948. But after an April 21, 1954 Military Assistance Understanding agreement between the Republican Eisenhower Administration and the Iraqi monarchical regime was signed on April 21, 1954, elections were held on June 9, 1954 in which the Iraqi communist-backed National Front won 4 of 10 constituencies in Baghdad.

In response, yet another pro-imperialist Iraqi politician, Nuri as-Said, was chosen to head the Iraqi royalist regime's government on August 2, 1954. And on August 3, 1954 the Iraqi parliament that was elected on June 9, 1954 was dissolved.

On April 4, 1955, the UK government then pressured its puppet regime to sign a special agreement with Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and the UK--the Baghdad Pact-- that more formally aligned the undemocratic Iraqi government militarily with the UK and United States governments. An Iraqi poet named Husain ar-Radi (a/k/a Salam ‘Adil) also became the new leader of the Iraq Communist Party in 1955--after he agreed to be the Secretary General of the Iraq Communist Party.

To counter the continued political influence of the Iraq Communist Party in Iraqi society during the 1950s and early 1960s, the U.S. government apparently then began to encourage the growth of an anti-imperialist, pan-Arab nationalist, but anti-communist, Ba'th Party in Iraq during the Cold War Era. As Rashid Khalidi recalled in his book Resurrecting Empire book: "Starting in the late 1950s, this policy ranged from covert sympathy for the Iraqi Ba'th Party to wholehearted backing for dictatorial Ba'thist regimes at various times from the 1960s through 1990." (end of part 2)