Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Iraq's Post-1950 History Revisited: Part 6

(See parts 1-5 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private contractors who are still occupying Iraqi soil (in support of special U.S. corporate interests) to finally be withdrawn from Iraq by Easter 2009.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?

In the aftermath of the unsuccessful Ba'th-supported 1959 Mosul Revolt, Iraqi communist activists organized large demonstrations which called for the Qasim regime to: "Crush the plotters; Purge the army and the administration; Arm the people; Withdraw from the Baghdad Pact without further delay; Take preventive diplomatic and punitive measures against countries which participate in plotting aggression against our country!"

On March 24, 1959, the Qasim government responded to the large demos by withdrawing from the Baghdad Pact that had formally aligned Iraq militarily in the Cold War Era with the UK imperialist government; and the 400 British Royal Air Force troops who were still in the country were finally withdrawn from Iraq on May 31, 1959. Two thousand anti-Qasim officials were also purged from Iraqi government offices and Iraqi military officer posts. In addition, the Soviet Union also agreed to give a generous loan of $137 million to the Qasim government on March 16, 1959, which was to be spent within seven years on industrial, communications, transportation and agricultural development and infrastructure projects.

In the United States, the Republican Eisenhower Administration was apparently upset about the post-July 1958 direction of Iraq's internal politics and apparently first began to pursue a U.S. foreign policy of "regime change" in Iraq. As William Blum recalled in his 2000 book Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower:

"A secret plan for a joint U.S.-Turkish invasion of the country was drafted by the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff shortly after the 1958 coup. Reportedly, only Soviet threats to intercede on Iraq's side forced Washington to hold back. But in 1960, the United States began to fund the Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq who were fighting for a measure of autonomy and the CIA undertook an assassination attempt against Qasim, which was unsuccessful. The Iraqi leader made himself even more of a marked man when, in that same year, he began to help create the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries [OPEC], which challenged the stranglehold Western oil companies had on the marketing of Arab oil; and in 1962 he created a national oil company to exploit the nation's oil."

(end of part 6)