The Dialectic of Revolution and Coup d’état in Iraq


By political researcher Mohammed AlKhakani

Over 61 years since July 14th,1958, the political, social and cultural elites are on disagreements of defining what happened at the day, was it a revolution or coup? Over the course of time, power and all its different types are amongst the issues which preoccupied all due to its central impact over the others from one hand, and on the other hand it is defined as an open door to change the society. For decades, under monarchy and republic control, the Iraqis are still undecided some are pro regime ; others are anti. Some believe the monarchy— which began by installing Al Faisal I as King of Iraq and then succeeded by his son Ghazi ascended to the throne and lastly Faisal II who was overthrown by a bunch of officers to declare the republic of Iraq— is one of the historic event  Iraq has ever witnessed despite of military coupes and instability in the region and the subsequent changes within the shape of regime. Others believe the Republic form of government since 1958 is the best for Iraq. Here we have to make a distinction between two types of political movements which aims to achieve its goals to assume power either by revolution or coup. Revolution is based on grassroots participation which positively reflects this participation by making difference to fulfill the objectives for which it stood. The other type is coup which involves a bunch of military officers achieving goals not necessarily reflect the ambitions of people whether they are political or economic ones. Here, a major problem emerges in the Iraqi politician’s mindset. Some believe the constitutional monarchy system is an era cannot be repeated. It was a potential for Iraq to advance in the ranks of industrial companies in the region in light of exiting circumstances at that time when the neighboring countries were politically immature and even the least qualified to control as Iraq was at that time. Had the monarchy been exiting so far, the situation would have been different. Some believe the overthrowing of the monarchy and declare the republic as a victory for principles of the revolution and the right course to the best by legislating laws compatible with all different classes of the Iraqi people, so it is not about the form of the regime whether it is monarchy or republic it is about the outcomes of class struggle on constant basis between the very few numbers who control the wealth of the majority and have influence and power,  and the others who are the great majority of the  Iraqi people who can hardly earn their daily sustenance and that way the country has suffered the  class struggle which negatively affected the willingness of the society for the shape and  nature of the regime. Was it better off to Iraq to be ruled under monarchy? Or republic ?  so it’s become obviously clear that it is a social problem stems from the spillovers of regime changing on consecutive basis therefore the people split into groups of different thinking and belonging etc.

 the social fission in Iraq can be attributable to an influential and  important element over  the state of affairs which is giving legitimacy to the exiting regime’s form. The inability of the regime- which came into existence by violence and blood shedding-to gain legitimacy by assuming power democratically like holding election. Then he is vested with authority by the public to rule which results in pulling the country into endless crises with no substantive solutions to overcome the crisis since  1958, a year when the republic was founded in Iraq. In addition, the absence of national belonging among the Iraqis under both regimes monarchy and republic since 1921 has not met   the standards of nation building so far , and that has an impact to create a solid national belonging among the Iraqi people and that’s why  the consecutive governments were being undermined. Turning  to the policy of might and the use of violence  as a means of to hold power since 1958, has strengthened the policy of might rather than democratic means like holding election so the culture  of acceptance was grown by the power holders and also legitimizing their behaviors and actions. All these become obvious among the Iraqi. Deepening the culture of violence among the Iraqis by power holders— is one of the genetic errors which caused turmoil and inability instead of adopting straightforward policies and democratic means to assume power plus the lack of political culture within the Iraqi society to overcome crises.


المركز الديمقراطى العربى

المركز الديمقراطي العربي مؤسسة مستقلة تعمل فى اطار البحث العلمى والتحليلى فى القضايا الاستراتيجية والسياسية والاقتصادية، ويهدف بشكل اساسى الى دراسة القضايا العربية وانماط التفاعل بين الدول العربية حكومات وشعوبا ومنظمات غير حكومية.

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