Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Iraq: Violence is endemic from 1958 when the First Coup took Place

Hark Back to Time: The Man who overthrew the Monarchy in Iraq, Lt General Abdul Kassem.

Iraq is in the news everyday with bomb attacks and suicide bombings. Thousands have died this year. It appears that Iraq has an unending tryst with death and destruction. Before 1958 Iraq was a pro-west monarchy. The Iraqi people were ruled by King Faisal II. The king was a pro west man and his Prime Minister a rabid pro American. There was little development as corruption reigned supreme.

In 1958, Lieutenant General Abdul Karim Kassem the military commander staged a bloody coup. The entire family of King Faisal and him were shot dead. Violent crowds lynched the Prime Minister Nuri to death. It was a blood bath that shook the world. General Kassem abolished the monarchy and became president. He went to office armed with a sub-machine gun. The military putsch led to a blood bath and anybody remotely connected with the royal family was executed.

The power equation in the Middle East changed significantly. Eisenhower, the then US president had launched the’ Baghdad Pact’ to contain communism. It had its headquarters in Baghdad in Iraq. Kaseem promptly withdrew from the Baghdad pact which became redundant. 

Those who ride the tiger are eaten by the tiger and in 1963 Lt General Kaseem was killed in another coup led by his opponents. The present cycle of violence seems to be a carryover of the past. One wonders when it will end. In the meantime the Iraqi people are suffering