Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Rambling Post (5)

On the 8th of March 1963 the baathists seized power in Syria through a military coup. The baathists in both countries, Iraq & Syria, signed in haste an agreement to unite the two countries with Egypt under the leadership of Nasser president of Egypt.

Nasser reluctantly accepted the agreement, since he had suffered a previous failure with the baathists in the year 1961. In that year a union between Egypt & Syria broke down after three years of its declaration. The breakdown was caused by the baathists. So Nasser was not ready to go with the second attempt hastily.

Arif, the Iraqi president, did not have a decisive policy & could not resist the baathists' desire, since it was them who brought him to power. And even after kicking the baathists out of power on 18 November, he found himself unable to draw different policy. So he worked hard to bring stability to the country but he barely managed.

The period between 18th of November 1963 & 17th of July 1968 was a blurred one. Because of his commitment to the agreement with Egypt, Arif policy was dominated by the Egyptians. He was obliged, under Nasser's demands, to nationalize most of the Iraqi economy sectors & the economy was crippled.

In the year 1966 Arif was killed in a helicopter accident which claimed later to be schemed by the baathists.

One of the remarkable figures at that period was Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Baz'zaz. Till before the coup of 1958, he was the dean of the college of law. When Arif died he was the prime minister and was nominated to be the president. A bunch of military officers opposed the nomination and threatened to use force against supporters of the nomination.

The head of this bunch of officers was Sa'eid Sulaibee, the commander of the military force responsible of defending Baghdad. Most of these officers descend from the north west lands with Bedouin tribal background.

Dr. Baz'zaz, as a civilized person, decided to withdraw and Iraq lost a great opportunity to regain civil life.

Sulaibee inaugurated the late president brother as a president. The new president was a man of no much interest in power. So he became a toy in the hands of several groups. The period of the Arifs witnessed many military coup attempts. Finally the baathists managed to regain power on the 17th July 1968 through a military coup.

On the 5th June 1967 the Six Days War broke out in the region between Israel & Arabs. The Arabs were heavily defeated, which caused great frustration in the Arab world. The baathists used the defeat as a pretext for a military coup on the 17th July 1968. Their plan to seize power succeeded through coordinated effort with the head of the intelligence service & the commanders of the republican guards (responsible of guarding the presidential palace).

Till that day, Saddam worked hard on making contacts to gather as much as possible number of gangstas, and organizing them under his command. He managed to create a group of them, which was called (Hunain group), to represent the armed wing of the Baath party. The gangstas who refused to join Hunain group were killed in mysterious circumstances. One of those gangsta groups, which refused to obey Saddam, was (We'ild As'safra) which means (sons of the yellow woman). They had been killed publicly in a café at Ad'damyah district in Baghdad.

To be continued…


Blogger Brian H said...

A long tale of rule by assassination. I think you'll find democracy boring!

11:50 AM  
Blogger Gadfly said...

Love the rambling posts, Ibn. So much history. All of the struggle and power brokering. It's fascinating.
Thank you


6:51 PM  
Blogger Louise said...

Ditto gadfly. But I have been led to believe that it was the Americans who made Saddam Hussein. Are you saying he was a self made man? Can everything I have been told be wrong? /sarcasm

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post! History lessons in 2 minutes per post..



12:28 AM  
Blogger KT said...

Thanks for taking the time to post this information. Certainly helps those of us that are not from the region understand alot better what has taken place. Stay well.

4:48 AM  

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