Re: 1958 Coup? (Iraq)
I don’t know what the heck I just dug up (I know enough similar stories so can assume - how some wealthy expat community of Middle East is narrating their version of history - from place like London etc - but)
It’s just -
The 1958 coup d’état was not the first upheaval in Iraq’s modern political history, which has been marked by nationalist fervor, ethnic uprisings, tribal conflicts, palace treacheries, warfare and deadly oppression. In the monarchy’s 37 years, the government cabinet was shuffled more than 50 times. Scholars have offered a catalog of reasons why antiquity’s “cradle of civilization” has been so unstable. Some blame geography, pointing out that Iraq, which covers some 168,000 square miles, has a mere 12 miles of shoreline, on the Persian Gulf, making it the most landlocked—and culturally isolated—nation in the Middle East. Others tie Iraq’s “bloody history,” as many have described it, to the preponderance of groups vying for power. The rivalry goes deeper than Arab versus British, however, or Sunni versus Shiite versus Kurd.As the Kurdish analyst Siyamend Othman said this past November, the “history of Iraq has been conditioned, if not determined, by the conflict between city and countryside,” meaning the conflict between an emerging educated class around major urban areas and the old semiliterate rural sheikhdoms.
Britain’s experiment in nation-building failed partly because it did not unify the disparate factions, says Charles Tripp, a British citizen and author of the 2000 book, A History of Iraq. Instead, Britain seeded unrest by relying on the Sunni minority to run the military and civil service and also by subordinating the northern, Kurdish territory. In addition, he says, Britain’s decision to allow tribal sheikhs to maintain order in rural areas heightened tensions by “treating Iraqi society as a collection of groups rather than individuals.” But Adeed Dawisha, an Iraq-born historian and author of Arab Nationalism in the Twentieth Century, suggests that Britain failed mainly because it granted Iraq too little autonomy. “From the establishment of the constitutional monarchy in 1921 all the way to its fall in 1958,” Dawisha says, “it was very clear that none of the Iraqi governments could carry out any policy against British opposition. And I would put oil [policies] at the top of the list. Oil sales served the interests of Britain, not Iraq.”
Iraq’s Unruly Century: Ever since Britain carved the nation out of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, the land long known as Mesopotamia has been wracked by instability
By Jonathan Kandell
Smithsonian magazine, May 2003