by Jonathan Azaziah
In the last 100 years, we Iraqis have not had a plethora of victories to revel in, instead drinking our tears as if they were water from the Tigris and eating our agony like it was the most remarkable Masgouf. But the July 14th, 1958 Revolution, which toppled the US-British-‘Israeli’-backed monarchy and restored dignity to our land and people (albeit for a short period of a little less than 5 years), was the one true bright spot in a dark modern history of misery, tragedy, heartbreak and genocide. Brigadier General Abdul Karim Qassem–a living embodiment of Iraqi unity who was born to Sunni Arab father and a Shi’a Kurdish mother in Baghdad and who fought to make Iraq an independent regional power until his dying day–led the revolutionary coup against King Faisal II, Prince Abdullah and Prime Minister Nuri Said on this day 58 years ago, deposing a brutal, collaborationist, debauched dictatorship that ruled over us since August 1921.
This treasonous tyranny was Anglophilic to the core, surrendering the entirety of our sovereignty to the British military and Rothschild-controlled multinational oil firms, and Zionist at its root, having made an agreement with none other than Chaim Weizmann to promote Sahyouni-“Arab” cooperation as well as a subsequent understanding with David Ben-Gurion to send Iraqi Jews to occupied Palestine in exchange for dispossessed, ethnically cleansed Palestinians. These autocratic devils became signatories of the Baghdad Pact, an American-run, Zionist-Lobby-designed military cooperation council that made each Global South participant a neo-colonial proxy in the war with whoever the Empire deemed an “enemy”. The “Hasehmite” despots raped and robbed Iraq from top to bottom, established a monstrous feudalism from north to south and fattened their pockets and those of their Brit and Jew overlords, all whilst running Iraqi “commoners” into the ground and trying to drown us in poverty, illiteracy and repression.
Qassem, however, furious over the blanket of humiliation that was smothering us, fiercely tried to overturn it all and came tremendously close to doing so. He destroyed the old feudal order and revamped Iraq’s agricultural sector, giving jobs and some semblance of a decent living to the poor for the first time in centuries. He nationalized Iraq’s oil and used the revenues from the black gold to establish free education, free health care and free housing. The Brigadier General helped smash illiteracy and put in place a women’s rights regime unlike anything in Arab nation-state history apart from Hafez and Dr. Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian Arab Republic.
He also kicked out the US and UK Imperialists, closed every Western military base and ejected Iraq from the Baghdad Pact, eviscerating the military alliance and dealing a gargantuan blow to the monsters’ Jewish-prophecy-driven dreams of keeping the lands of Mesopotamia under their jackboots. And most importantly of all, Qassem ended all contacts with the illegitimate ‘Israeli’ regime and declared it an enemy entity, hung anyone who continued the collaborationist ways of the old “kingdom” and funneled arms to the Palestinian people. Ending ‘Israel’ was a personal goal of Qassem, who had actually fought against the Zionists in Kfar Qassem during the Nakba. According to some accounts, despite the fact that he wasn’t a religious man, every night before he went to sleep–and he didn’t do much sleeping to begin with–Qassem would make a short du’a about the removal of the Zionist invaders and the restoration of Palestine and hoped to one day observe Ramadan in Al-Quds.
While there were unnecessary political and ideological conflicts with Nasser, failures to curb Kurdish expansionism and perhaps too much ambition, i.e. trying to do too much too soon, ultimately, Qassem’s tenure as the Iraqi head of state should be looked at as a critical success that unified Iraq’s downtrodden like nobody before him or after him and threatened the hegemony of the Zionist World Order. In praxis on a variety of fronts and on paper, the July 14th Revolution is a model that could be applied to every American-‘Israeli’-controlled Arab nation in need of organic tyrant-toppling. It pains me, greatly, that Qassem was taken down and martyred in a CIA-led, Mossad-MI6-backed “regime change” operation in February 1963 and thus could not finish what he set out to do. Chief among the native informants who participated in this crime was none other than the maniac Saddam Hussein, who had also been the CIA’s trigger-man for attempts on Abdul Karim’s life shortly after he came to power in 1958 as well as in 1959. Anyone comparing these two men, with Qassem being one of Iraq’s premier revolutionaries in the same echelon as Al-Mukhtar (R.A.), Sheikh Mahdi al-Khaleesi (R.A.) and Ayatollah Sayyed Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr (R.A.), and Saddam being nothing but a tool of ZOGs worldwide ’till he ceased to be of use, really needs to reevaluate his or her definition of what a “leader” is.
Concluding my trip down to memory lane, I think of the flag that was flown by the Iraqi government under Brigadier General Qassem, as it represented–and, to me, still does represent–the pluralism which has been Iraq’s heart and soul since time immemorial. The red, black, white and green signify Pan-Arabism, with black and green also signifying Islam, the sun is for the Kurds and the Star of Ishtar is for Assyrian, Chaldean and Syriac Christians in addition to being a Striking Star Salute to our ancient history.
Everything that Qassem did, contrary to the trove of CIA-Mossad Zioganda present in every “scholarly” breakdown of the 1958-1963 revolutionary era, was for ALL Iraqis, with not even a single drop of bias towards any ethnicity, faith or school of thought. So while moujahideen from the Iraqi Resistance most likely didn’t know it when they chanted “We Are One Hand!” after the American-Zionist invasion of 2003, they were in fact making the most beautiful ode to Brigadier General Abdul Karim Qassem and the world-shaking events of July 14th, 1958. It shows that the revolutionary spirit of the Iraqi people is transhistorical; that it is embedded in our being and encoded in our DNA. It was true then and it is true now, “WE ARE ONE HAND!”, and very soon in the not-too-distant future, Qassem’s successor will rise and finish what he started, bringing honor to the legacy of his July 14th Revolution and ushering in an epoch of Arab-Islamic glory that Iraq was always, ALWAYS meant to be at the heart of. #July14thRevolution #AbdulKarimQassem #WeAreOneHand #LongLiveIraq