Revolutionary Fervor: The History and Legacy of Communism in Abd al-Karim Qasim's Iraq 1958-1963
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The 1950s were a time of political and social upheaval in the Middle East as exemplified by the Iraqi Coup of 1958. Within the country there existed the classic internal economic and social strife that so often leads to revolution, yet this played out during a global changing of the guards, causing a far more complex situation. Britain was shirking responsibility for former colonies and the dawn was rising on American superpowerdom in the Middle East. The rhetoric used by the British and the Americans differed greatly in the acknowledgement of the communist threat in Iraq under Abd-al Karim Qasim. The Americans were concerned, verging on panicked, over the potential of northern tier Communist expansion while the British remained calm. Thus my question became: was communism real or imagined in the Republic of Iraq under Abd al-Karim Qasim? I believe it was imagined or at least heavily embellished by the British in order to get the United States to take control over the region. Through my extensive research both in the FRUS files of American documents and through two stints sifting through thousands of telegrams at the National Archives in London I hope to have proven that the British purposely mislead the United States into the belly of the beast, perpetuating the red scare in order to protect their own interests.