Iraq Gains Independence from Britain
The 3rd of October 1932 AD
Too often we fail to learn from history; in the case of Iraq, such a failure may to some extent be said to have led to us repeating it.
After WWI Britain was given a mandate by the League of Nations to rule Mesopotamia, and proceeded to create a country of different and often competing ethnic and religious groups, an unnatural political entity. Worse, questions over the borders of that state were never fully clarified, leaving room for the future dispute over Kuwait. Over this country in 1921 we placed a monarchy that had less than universal support. Iraq was regarded as of strategic importance for Britain, hence a reluctance to exit the country.
By 1929 the Labour government signalled its intent to quit Iraq, putting in place a government led by a general, Nuri al Said. On October 3 1932 British rule ended, and Iraq became a member of the League of Nations. Any unity among Iraqi politicians was based on their common desire to end British rule; when that rule ended, so did their cooperation and even the raison d’etre of their various parties.
The Prime Minister in place quickly fell, to be replaced by Rashid Ali who soon proved incapable of handling the delicate balance between communities, presiding over the brutal crushing and massacre of rebellious Assyrian Christians. Several other governments followed in quick succession, brought down by violence, intrigue, plotting, putsch and propaganda as the country appeared incapable of achieving stability and peaceful cohabitation between its many competing groups.
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