Monday, November 22, 2010

Iraq in 1927

From the Manchester Guardian in 1927:

The present ruler at Bagdad is, in fact, in the main stream of Islamic endeavour — that is, towards Westernisation. It is the example of Turkey, in the political sense, which he seeks largely to follow.

In the commercial sense, he is anxious to open up his country to the West by calling in the aid of modern science, whether in the agricultural sphere, in the development of the cotton, date, and grain crops, for example, or in the sphere of communications, by air or motor-car or railway (King Feisul is extremely anxious to see a railway and pipe-line built from Iraq to Haifa, in Palestine), or by the extraction of his country's oil through the medium of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company and the Turkish Petroleum Company.

34 comments:

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

I gotta run or I'd read the article tonight, Zeyad. So I don't know who he was. I hope the other shoe isn't going to drop and I find out he turned into someone horrible, like Saddam.

But it appears that he was trying to improve the lives of his people. That's a good thing.

Freddie Starr said...

Lynnette In Minnesota ate my hamster!

Bridget said...

That article brings so many questions to mind... Were those really the King's aspirations, or was that a reflection of the British view of what the King hoped to achieve. 80+ years later, how much progress has Iraq made towards his vision? What would Iraq be like today had it taken the approach the Chinese did for so many years and shut the west out?

Bridget said...

"But not on the crest of a revived Islam does he hope to conjure back the departed splendours of Iraq. For the tendency in his kingdom, as in Turkey, Egypt, Persia, and other Moslem countries, is emphatically towards secularisation. The religious factor is being kept vigorously in the background; at least the attempt is being made so to keep it."

Perhaps the message Zeyad is trying to give us is that King Feisul and/or the Manchester Guardian were engaging in some wishful thinking as regards the future of secularization of Muslim countries.

Bruno said...

Wishful thinking, nothing. It seems to me that even under the management of Saddam Iraq was making large secular strides. Now, that train has departed for a long time, perhaps forever.

Bruno said...

Hmm. I've just been browsing the South African news comments. Sounds like SA version of the Sunnis and Shias going at it. It seems that SA has plenty of retarded people in its borders.

Bridget said...

"It seems to me that even under the management of Saddam Iraq was making large secular strides."

Through brute force. Once they got to run things themselves, not so much. And then there's Iran after the Shah. Saudi Arabia never bothered to try. What will happen to Egypt when Mubarak dies. Turkey looking less secular by the day. Lebanon touch and go.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

Ohhhh the temptation! But, no, I'm not even going to nibble on that Bruno comment at 4:35 am. I'm feeling generous. :)

Zeyad,

I should have guessed it was Feisul. But there you have it, my mind was fogged by other things. :)

You know, I rather think Bridget (at 8:14 am) is right. But I'm not sure if it is the people's choice to follow a religious type of governance or if those are the people that have managed to claw their way to power and stay. *sigh*

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

   
      "It seems to me that even under the
      management of Saddam Iraq was making
      large secular strides.
"

Saddam had largely reversed course on that in the last years before he was toppled.  Iraq had gone on a mosque building binge there towards Saddam's end, Wahabi mosques mostly, and Saddam himself had begun to work Islamist propaganda and jargon into his public pronouncements.

Bruno said...

[lee] "Saddam himself had begun to work Islamist propaganda and jargon into his public pronouncements."

Reflecting growing public religious sentiment in an effort to bolster support. When you are dirt poor (because of sanctions) and don't see any way out, it becomes attractive to believe that some higher power will lend a hand.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

   
      "Reflecting growing public religious
      sentiment in an effort to bolster support.
"

An attempt to get out in front of the wave before it consumed him.  The point is that Um Ahab and other apologists for Saddam, such as yourself, like to pretend that Saddam was some sort of Iraqi version of Kemal Atatürk.  He was no such thing.  He hadn't managed to do any more than temporarily, and with considerable brutality, suppress the secular tensions of Iraqi society, which were a potential challenge to his power, and that project was coming unraveled even before he was deposed.

   Lee C.  ―  U.S.A.       said...

   
Wrote ‘secular tensions’ where it should have read ‘sectarian tensions’, but, what the hell:  Point should have been clear enough and the typo obvious.

Bruno said...

Lee's typos are always obvious.

[bruno] "Reflecting growing public religious sentiment in an effort to bolster support."

[lee] An attempt to get out in front of the wave before it consumed him.

It appears we are in agreement.

Marcus said...

From what I have read Saddam was actually pretty popular way back when. Before the war with Iran Iraq had been modernising quickly and the average iraqi was better off. The leadership in the Baath party wasn't yet in the hands of the Tikrit "band of brothers" and technocrats played a big part in governance. Saddam was a cruel despot and anyone he saw as a challenge or a threat was dealt with harshly, but he did do much that was genuinely popular also.

Then as opposition and malcontent grew Saddam surrounded himself with an ever diminishing circle of friends and associates, trusted because of a long history of loyalty or because of tribal ties. And he became ever more suspicious and dangerous to those he saw as powerful. Here's when he got religous too, to placate the sunni tribes that he relied on for support and probably also to bolster his own image with the people. He built mosques, he had the koran written in his own blood, he changed the Iraqi flag and added religous scripture to it. It was all downhill from there.

Marcus said...

Pete, check this out. Paul Krugman writes about Oyrland:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/26/opinion/26krugman.html?_r=1&hp

Bruno said...

Good post Marcus. Of course there are people that make the case that Saddam never did anything of worth and drank children's blood with tabasco sauce from the day he arrived into power.

The truth is that along with his brutality he did bring a lot of progress to Iraq.

The true tragedy of the invasion is that Iraqis underwent the harsh years of his rule for nothing because any progress achieved during that time has essentially been swept away by the disaster that was this invasion.

Bruno said...

SOON, victory will be at hand in Afghanistan:

"How MI6 was fooled by Taleban impostor - MI6 became convinced it had achieved an 'historic breakthrough' in forging contacts between the Taleban and the Afghan Government"

British Intelligence has suffered its most embarrassing setback since Iraq after a senior Taleban commander promoted by MI6 as the key to an Afghan peace process was exposed as an impostor.

An investigation by The Times can reveal that British agents paid Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour from May this year, promoting him as a genuine Taleban figure of the highest standing who was capable of negotiating with senior American and Afghan officials.

But according to officials in Britain, America and Afghanistan, he was uncovered this month as a fraudster, dealing a blow to the credibility of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6. Far from being a former Taleban government minister, the individual concerned is now thought to have been a shopkeeper ..."

http://freedomsyndicate.com/fair0000/times0048.html

LULZ

Bunch of clowns.

RhusLancia said...

Marxus: "Saddam was a cruel despot and anyone he saw as a challenge or a threat was dealt with harshly, but he did do much that was genuinely popular also."

Brüno: "Of course there are people that make the case that Saddam never did anything of worth and drank children's blood with tabasco sauce from the day he arrived into power."

Hiya you two! Happy Thanksgiving!

On yer comments, fans of a certain 1930s & 1940s era European dictator could say similar things.

" any progress achieved during that time has essentially been swept away by the disaster that was this invasion."

Likewise, deposing that dictator also undid all of his progress in the near term, though the Autobahn and Volkswagen endure. Is he vindicated then?


Je n'ai pas l'esprit les deux autres, mais Kyle aurait dû gagner. Öbama.

RhusLancia said...

Probably should have said "fans and apologists of..." in deference to your stated position of not being a fan of Saddam. Sometimes I forget, the way yous carry on about him.


Je n'ai pas l'esprit les deux autres, mais Kyle aurait dû gagner. Öbama.

Petes said...

Snow in November! Can't remember the last time that happened, if ever.

Belated happy Thanksgiving to the Yanks.

escalante blogger said...

That's great my friend. Wishing you luck guys.

Lynnette In Minnesota said...

RhusLancia,

Long time no see. It's nice to see you're still around. :)

PeteS,

Thank you for the Thanksgiving Day wishes. It was a nice day, even if a little chilly outside.

There was an article in our paper today about the situation in Ireland. A difficult time indeed.

ttv said...

I wonder why it would be so...

Bruno said...

Wasn't thanksgiving that one time that the merkins invited a bunch on injuns around for pretzels and koolaid before massacring them?

Bruno said...

[rhus] "Likewise, deposing that dictator also undid all of his progress in the near term, though the Autobahn and Volkswagen endure. Is he vindicated then?"

Poor old Rhusty still doesn't grasp the basic fact that "that dictator" started the war. Eventually, he will catch on.

RhusLancia said...

@ PeteS & Lynnette:

:hello: ! and happy holidays!

@ Brüno: how many freebie wars does Saddam get to start before you begin counting against him??


Je n'ai pas l'esprit les deux autres, mais Kyle aurait dû gagner. Öbama.

Bruno said...

I guess Rhusty missed the 1991 war. Been comatose for the last few decades?

How many freebie wars and coups and dictators does the US get to carry out before it becomes "evil" and "a threat to stability"?

RhusLancia said...

I guess Brüno forgot who started the 1991 war? Just not counting it I suppose. Or, because it was a while ago, it's just bygones. Water under de bridge...


Je n'ai pas l'esprit les deux autres, mais Kyle aurait dû gagner. Öbama.

Iraqi Mojo said...

Saddam also started the war with Iran. Saddam built 81 palaces in the 90s while ordinary Iraqis struggled to survive. Saddam was a piece of shit. Iraq did fine before Saddam put himself in charge.

"When Saddam took over absolute power in the summer of 1979, he presided over a rich country with wonderful infrastructure and good public services, a strong and healthy economy expanding at a fast rate of 8% per annum in real terms, and a treasury of foreign exchange reserves of $35 billion. All of that was dissipated in a matter of two decades of tyrannical rule and foolish military adventures, which left Iraq under a huge burden of $120 billion foreign debts, battered infrastructure, rampant unemployment, collapsed services system and a crippled economy."

Bruno said...

[rhus] how many freebie wars does Saddam get to start before you begin counting against him??
[bruno] I guess Rhusty missed the 1991 war. Been comatose for the last few decades?
[rhus] I guess Brüno forgot who started the 1991 war?

*facepalm*

Rhusty, have a coffee. Then come back and re-read what you wrote. In context. If you're still having problems, get back to me.

On another note, Mojo seems stressed. He seems to miss Saddam a hell of a lot. WHat is he to do without his favourite bugbear?

RhusLancia said...

Dunno Brüno - seems like you're counting that one against us, too.


Je n'ai pas l'esprit les deux autres, mais Kyle aurait dû gagner. Öbama.

Bruno said...

[rhus] "seems like you're counting that one against us, too."

Certain aspects of that war I do count against the US. The slimy, hypocritical, brutal, unnecessary aspects.

Primarily the call for the Shia to rise up and their subsequent betrayal, and the "highway of death" episode, where Iraqis complying with the UN resolution to exit Kuwait were bombed unmercifully.

But I *do* support the ejection of Iraqi troops from Kuwait as a matter of principle. No "free passes".

Bruno said...

Still pissed with Obama, Rhus? Gosh, just because he and his chums decided that they have the right to kill Americans whenever they feel like it without judicial oversight, you hold it against him? Tsk, tsk. Slide into dictatorship, eh?

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