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Revisiting the Republic of Fear: Lessons for Research on Contemporary Iraq

As such, it seeks to answer the question: Why did a group of army officers, who had seized control of the government of Iraq in , proceed to wage a disastrously futile war against Great Britain? Why did these officers reject the British and liberal democratic values, turning instead to a militaristic Germany, whose political ideology stood at the extreme edge of Romantic nationalism? What was their legacy for the future?


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On the surface, the answer seems obvious. As a victor in World War I, although responsible for the creation of the modern state of Iraq, Britain, in consort with France, was instrumental in dividing up the Arab areas of the former Ottoman Empire and of occupying Iraq.

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The officers, educated in Istanbul and returning to Iraq to play a leading role in the new state, were first and foremost Sunni pan-Arab nationalists, dreaming of the unity of an Arab nation encompassing the Fertile Crescent and Arabia. For them, the situation was intolerable and smacked of betrayal by the same politicians in Whitehall who were ostensibly leading Iraq to full independence. The reality was that Iraq was only nominally independent, so when the opportunity arose and the British Empire seemed about to be overrun by the Axis powers in , the Iraqis turned to Germany.

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No cover image. Read preview. Synopsis Why did a group from the Iraqi army seize control of the government and wage a disastrous war against Great Britain, rejecting British and liberal values for those of a militaristic Germany? Languages Add links. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Participant in the —39 Arab revolt in Palestine. Flag of the Iraqi Kingdom used by the unit.

Iraq Wars, s-Present - Military History - Oxford Bibliographies

Arab nationalism. Fawzi al-Qawuqji Muhammad al-Ashmar. Nablus - Tulkaram - Jenin triangle, Mandatory Palestine.

Arab Higher Committee Local rebel factions fasa'il.