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Back To Baghdad

At the end of the First World War in 1918, Britain found itself responsible for control of much of the Middle East. In the years prior (centuries, actually), the Ottoman Empire (today, Turkey) ruled most of the territory that is known today as Arabia, Jordan, Iraq and Israel. The Ottomans found themselves on the losing side of the First World War however, having allied themselves with Germany, so with defeat came loss of territory.

Modern-day Iraq (a region that is one of the most rich in Bible History - see Mesopotamia) came about through the efforts of then colonial secretary (and future Prime Minister) Winston Churchill, and other leading British diplomats and military men such as T.E. Lawrence (who is popularly known as "Lawrence of Arabia"). In March 1921, in a conference in Egypt, presided over by Churchill, Feisal (an Arab leader who fought with T.E. Lawrence in an Arab revolt against Turkey) was declared king of Iraq, although Iraq remained "closely associated" with Britain, in effect, Iraq remained a dominion of Britain.

Many in Iraq however demanded true independence. When the Second World War began, Iraqi forces substantially refused to cooperate with Britain in the war effort, and began negotiations to side with Germany - not because they had any love for Germany, but rather in the hope that a German victory would remove Iraq from under British control (the fact that a German victory would have put Iraq under the rule of Adolf Hitler seems not to have mattered to them). In response, British forces invaded Iraq, and after a brief conflict, British control was again effected through the Iraqi monarchy.

But in 1958, a military coup overthrew the British-installed Iraqi monarchy and an Iraqi republic was declared. The political violence did not end with the monarchy however, as evidenced by the current Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, who came to power through his own student activism, exile, and imprisonment. He participated in the attempted assassination of Iraqi leader Abdul Karim Kassem in 1959 (Saddam was wounded in a gun battle with Kassem's bodyguards) and was instrumental in organizing the militia force that helped bring the Ba'ath party to power in a coup in 1968. Saddam Hussein served as the acting Deputy Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council from 1968-69; Deputy Chairman from 1969-79, and Chairman from 1979 at which time he also became the President, and one of the most brutal and sadistic men, of Iraq.

While western propaganda often simplistically proclaims that Saddam's dangerous behavior is because of his "hatred of our freedom" (no one really believes that one, do they?), the reality is another matter. Saddam's hatred of Britain is primarily based on Britain's long-time historic rule of Iraq through the Iraqi monarchy that was overthrown by forces (of which Saddam was a member) that established the republic, and his hatred of the United States is primarily based on American support for Israel (Saddam is a Muslim who regards the land of Israel to be Arab land that is "occupied" by Jews). But the United States and Britain are completely truthful when they say that Saddam is evil and dangerous - if not removed from power, Saddam will eventually cause them, and Israel, and numerous others, great loss of life. Saddam stopped being a victim when he began victimizing others, a lesson that all people in power should never forget, because a Judgment Day is coming, and until then, God is watching the games that people play.

The Middle East

Fact Finder: How were Britain and the United States involved in the birth of the modern-day state of Israel?
See United States, Britain and Israel

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