I like the oil distribution to the Iraqi people idea. However it won’t be coming about anytime while under an occupying force.
Numerous conquerors have tried to tame the peoples of this 5,000 year old area, each determined to bring their own brand of morality, discipline,
doctrine, religion and democracy to bear. Only those with similar cultural attitudes have prevailed. If there is a lesson to be learned after all
this time it is precisely their 5,000 year old defiance in defence of their own laws and preservation of doctrines.
Back to the future:
Iraq was carved out of the old Ottoman Empire by direction of the UK government on January 10, 1919, and on November 11, 1920 it became a League of
Nations mandate under British control with the name "State of Iraq".
At the end of the war, ownership of and access to Iraq's petroleum was split five ways: 23.75% each to the UK, France, The Netherlands and the USA,
with the remaining 5% going to a private oil corporation headed by Calouste Gulbenkian.
The Iraqi government got none of the nation's oil. This remained the situation until the revolution of 1958.
Excerpts from : www.globalpolicy.org...
As long ago as 1914, a senior British official was told by "local [Arab] notables" that "we should be received in Baghdad with the same cordiality
[as in southern Iraq] and that the Turkish troops would offer little if any opposition".
The British invasion army of 600,000 soldiers was led by Lieutenant-General Sir Stanley Maude…
Proclamation... Our military operations have as their object, the defeat of the enemy and the driving of him from these territories. In order to
complete this task I am charged with absolute and supreme control of all regions in which British troops operate; but our armies do not come into your
cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators... Your citizens have been subject to the tyranny of strangers... and your fathers and
yourselves have groaned in bondage. Your sons have been carried off to wars not of your seeking, your wealth has been stripped from you by unjust men
and squandered in different places. It is the wish not only of my King and his peoples, but it is also the wish of the great Nations with whom he is
in alliance, that you should prosper even as in the past when your lands were fertile... But you, people of Baghdad... are not to understand that it
is the wish of the British Government to impose upon you alien institutions. It is the hope of the British Government that the aspirations of your
philosophers and writers shall be realised once again, that the people of Baghdad shall flourish, and shall enjoy their wealth and substance under
institutions which are in consonance with their sacred laws and with their racial ideals... It is the hope and desire of the British people... that
the Arab race may rise once more to greatness and renown amongst the peoples of the Earth... Therefore I am commanded to invite you, through your
Nobles and Elders and Representatives, to participate in the management of your civil affairs in collaboration with the Political Representative of
Great Britain... so that you may unite with your kinsmen in the North, East, South and West, in realising the aspirations of your Race.
Britain lost 40,000 men in the Mesopotamian campaign.
Earl Asquith was to write in his memoirs that he and Sir Edward Grey, the British foreign secretary, agreed in 1915 that "taking Mesopotamia... means
spending millions in irrigation and development".
the British, once they were installed in Baghdad, decided in the winter of 1917 that Iraq would have to be governed and reconstructed by a "council"
formed partly of British advisers "and partly of representative non-official members from among the inhabitants".
The traveller and scholar Gertrude Bell, who became "oriental secretary" to the British military occupation authority, had no doubts about Iraqi
public opinion: "The stronger the hold we are able to keep here the better the inhabitants will be pleased... They can't conceive an independent
Arab government. Nor, I confess, can I. There is no one here who could run it."
But, by September 1919, even journalists were beginning to grasp that Britain's plans for Iraq were founded upon illusions. "I imagine," the
correspondent for The Times wrote on 23 September, "that the view held by many English people about Mesopotamia is that the local inhabitants will
welcome us because we have saved them from the Turks, and that the country only needs developing to repay a large expenditure of English lives and
English money. Neither of these ideals will bear much examination... From the political point of view we are asking the Arab to exchange his pride and
independence for a little Western civilisation, the profits of which must be largely absorbed by the expenses of administration."
Within six months, Britain was fighting a military insurrection in Iraq and David Lloyd George, the prime minister, was facing calls for a military
withdrawal. "Is it not for the benefit of the people of that country that it should be governed so as to enable them to develop this land which has
been withered and shrivelled up by oppression? What would happen if we withdrew?" Lloyd George would not abandon Iraq to "anarchy and confusion".
By this stage, British officials in Baghdad were blaming the violence on "local political agitation, originated outside Iraq", suggesting that Syria
might be involved.
(Three years later
The British now realised that they had made one big political mistake. They had alienated a major political group in Iraq - the
ex-Turkish Iraqi officials and officers. The ranks of the disaffected swelled. For Kufa 1920,...
In 1920, another insurgency broke out in the area of Fallujah, where Sheikh Dhari killed a British officer, Colonel Leachman, and cut rail traffic
between Fallujah and Baghdad. The British advanced towards Fallujah and inflicted "heavy punishment" on the tribe. For Fallujah, of course, read
Fallujah. And the location of the heavy punishment? Today it is known as Khan Dari - and it was the scene of the first killing of a US soldier by a
roadside bomb in 2003
The Guardian recounts:
The British responded with gas attacks by the army in the south, bombing by the fledgling RAF in both north and south. When Iraqi tribes stood up for
themselves, we unleashed the flying dogs of war to "police" them. Terror bombing, night bombing, heavy bombers, delayed action bombs (particularly
lethal against children) were all developed during raids on mud, stone and reed villages during Britain's League of Nations' mandate. The mandate
ended in 1932; the semi-colonial monarchy in 1958…
The RAF was first ordered to Iraq to quell Arab and Kurdish and Arab uprisings, to protect recently discovered oil reserves, to guard Jewish settlers
in Palestine and to keep Turkey at bay…
An uprising of more than 100,000 armed tribesmen against the British occupation swept through Iraq in the summer of 1920. In went the RAF. It flew
missions totalling 4,008 hours, dropped 97 tons of bombs and fired 183,861 rounds for the loss of nine men killed, seven wounded and 11 aircraft
destroyed behind rebel lines. The rebellion was thwarted, with nearly 9,000 Iraqis killed.
Churchill was particularly keen on chemical weapons, suggesting they be used "against recalcitrant Arabs as an experiment". He dismissed objections
as "unreasonable". "I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes _ [to] spread a lively terror _"…
Lieutenant-General Sir Aylmer L Haldane, quotes his own orders for the punishment of any Iraqi found in possession of weapons "with the utmost
severity": "The village where he resides will be destroyed _ pressure will be brought on the inhabitants by cutting off water power the area being
cleared of the necessaries of life". He added the warning: "Burning a village properly takes a long time, an hour or more according to size".
In May 1941, in the midst of a World War, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered his reluctant Commander-in-Chief Middle East, General Sir
Archibald Wavell, to march on Baghdad to effect a "regime change."…
By mid-May 1941, the British had occupied Basra thereby asserting their rights under the 1930 treaty…
Britain's primacy in the Middle East had begun to unravel, beginning in Palestine. By the 1950s, Iraq, Iran and Egypt were in turmoil. Therefore,
the prevailing historical verdict on Britain's interaction with the Arab world during World War II is that, in its effort to preserve its political
base through the invasions of Iraq and Persia, the exile of the Grand Mufti and sponsorship of Zionist counter-terror groups like the Haganah, and
heavy handed tactics against the young King Farouk in Egypt, Britain fanned the flames of Arab nationalism and Islamic fundamentalism that ultimately
compromised its long term interests in the Middle East.
In 1958, a core of "Free Officers" in the Iraqi army led a coup under the leadership of Brigadier Abdul-Karim Qasim…
On 14 July 1958, the "Free Officers" declared Iraq a Republic. The spontaneous response of the people was overwhelming. In Baghdad, Basrah,
Nasiryah, Kirkuk, and Mosul mass mobilizations of people in the streets were described as "overflowing rivers," "tides that engulfed," "purifying
floods." The popularity of the revolution was beyond doubt. In Baghdad, over 100,000 people tore down the statue of King Faisal I and of General Sir
Harold Maude, standing in front of the British Chancellery, which was set on fire. Hashemite Iraq as a dictatorship propped up by the coercive power
of the British Empire came to an end.