An idea to write something on Firdos Square (9 April 2003) led to a Google or two: this gave quite a few interesting sites including :A word, a phrase, a name, and it all comes rushing back
By Kevin Horrigan, Tue, Sep. 13, 2005, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The stage-managed events in Baghdad’s Firdos Square: image-making, lies and the "liberation" of Iraq By Patrick Martin, 12 April 2003. Now if the fact the latter came from an organ of the Fourth International upsets you, please don't clic...there you go, curiosity killed the cat.
Events moved on in interweb/weblog world - and Firdos got left behind - with more details of exactly which of the British Army's knickers got in what twist. Hell they don't half carry some equipment those boys. The black wigs the special forces men were wearing put me in mind of The Two Scousers. And made me think they might have got caught because they were shouting and pushing each other and one of the wigs fell off...
The story is that they were out and about looking for who had attacked some of their chums, when they were arrested. But the story gets to its true meaning when the police then passed The Two Scousers over to a Sadr Cadre! The other bit is that the British Army are dilligently training up new recruits for the Iraqi Police who might actualy later be using their newly acquired weapons training against the very people who have been training them, as part of a militia!
So it goes. And perhaps so should the British Army. Think of all the schools and hospitals we could build with the money we are spending keeping an expeditionary force in Iraq. If the Iraqis want to be a weak nation squeezed between Iran, Syria and Israel, so be it. Let them get on with it. They have had their chance. Well, no actually they haven't. But Iran wants Iraq weak and so do all the other countries around it.
What excaxtly does the U.S. and Britain want Iraq to become?
The British bombed and gased them to death in the early part of this century and that didn't quell their enthusiasm for fighting each other. It was only the firm hand of of the former Ottoman General Nuri as Said, and a succession of post- Kingdom dictatorships culminating in Saddam's, which tortured and hung its own people on a daily basis to keep rival groups in check. The ethnic, tribal and religious differences were only subsumed by force.
Now we are seeing what those divisions are. And how they seemed to Gertrude Bell, Sir Percy Cox, st. John Philby and crew. They are pretty much the one's described by Gertrude Bell, and in the 50s by writers such as Desmond Stewart, in his The New Babylon, even if they had the the taint of the colonist.
In Basrah, the British removed - exiled to India in 1915 - Sayeed Talib, one counter-claimant to the Hassemite rule that Iraq was to have imposed on it by the British. Interestingly , in a biography of St. John Philby by Elizabeth Monroe, there is mention of
Philby, while in Baghdad, roughed out...the democratic constitution that he thought would suit Iraq, complete with elected assembly and republican president.By 1920, when Cox was back to sort out things, Sayeed Talib, son of the Naqib of Basra, was back too, as Minister of the Interior with Naqib of Baghdad -head of the Gaylani(Kaylani) family - to head of Council of Minsters.
Sayyid Abd ar-Rahman al-Haydari al-Gillani (عبد الرحمن الحيدري الكيالي)
Prime Ministers of Iraq
wikipedia : British Mandate of Iraq
memories of a childhood in Iraq in the 1950s * thoughts on events in the Middle East