1920s Iraqi Poem on the New Constitution and Order Imposed by and for Britain, Not Iraqis

Bremner, Bird and Fortune, in their book, You Are Here, detailing the stupid, corrupt and murderous policies of Blair, Bush and co, include a poem by Ma’ruf al-Rasafi on the nature of the new country that had been created by the British under the Mandate. It expresses the view that this new country is purely for benefit of the occupying British, not the peoples of the new state themselves.

A flag, a Constitution, and a National Assembly
Each one a distortion of the true meaning
Names of which we have only utterance
But as to their true meaning we remain in ignorance
He who reads the Constitution will learn
that it is composed according to the Mandate
He who looks at the flapping banner will find
that it is billowing in the glory of aliens
He who sees our Assembly will know
that it is constituted by and for the interests of any but the electors
He who enters the Ministries will find
that they are shackled with the chains of foreign advisors.

(p. 71).

It’s a very accurate description of the nature of the Mandate in the former Mesopotamia. Throughout its history it was ruled by nominally independent politicians on our behalf. One of them was hated so much by the Iraqi people themselves that in the 1950s they hacked him to death in the street. And for good measure, they then ran over the remains with a car. Saddam Hussein was part of these imperialist machinations. He was originally a CIA operative, sent in to kill one of the awkward Iraqi politicos. And the same poem could apply today, in that the occupying powers that drew up the new Iraqi constitution placed limits and clauses in them to make sure that the oil remained in western hands.

And the result has been the chaos of bloodshed that has been this country’s misfortune ever since.

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2 Responses to “1920s Iraqi Poem on the New Constitution and Order Imposed by and for Britain, Not Iraqis”

  1. Michelle Says:

    Appreciate your post, but feels odd hitting the like button to such awful info. I did keep tabs on numerous different articles about Iraq from June 2014 in my Google posts and have placed your posts there too in the comments ref: https://plus.google.com/+MichelleThomassonShell/posts/Ny3iCp9aM1K

    A very emotive subject which can bring out those dead set on blaming specific groups of people without the nuance of history!

    • beastrabban Says:

      Absolutely. And you’re right, it is a highly emotive subject. It’s why it needs to be very carefully discussed, as you point out.

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