When King Faisal I assumed power in 1921, Iraq was neither a state nor even a semi-state. It was divided into several states under the Ottoman era whose protracted and backward occupation had ruined Iraq’s great cultural heritage. King Faisal had to begin from scratch, but in just 12 years, he managed to establish the modern state of Iraq. When he died in 1933, his successors did not find any difficulty in managing the state, as he established the cornerstone for it: The constitution, the laws and the administration department required for a state with its three authorities.
Abd al-Karim Qasim ruled Iraq for less than four years, during which he made major economic and social changes. His achievements included abolition of the feudal system and the Tribal Disputes Code in favor of the modern state system. This is in addition to agrarian reforms, expansion of education, health, social and cultural services.
The current Iraqi regime is now into its 16th year. However, it has not matured enough like King Faisal I’s regime did in less than 12 years and it also did not reach the extent of maturity which Qasim’s rule reached in less than four yearsAdnan Hussein
This is in addition to regaining 99.5 percent of the land granted to foreign oil companies, which later paved the way to nationally invest in oilfields, establish industrial, agricultural and irrigation projects planned by the reconstruction council in the last years of the royal era and legislate the new personal status law, which guaranteed women many of their rights.
Current regime falls short
Within 10 years (1968-1978), Al-Ba’ath Party established a powerful state, by stopping the war against the Kurds and recognizing their rights, mainly autonomy. The party also paved the way for a powerful state by being open to other political forces (Kurdish, Arab nationalism and the Communist Party), nationalization of oil and construction of large factories, planning agricultural and irrigation projects, building ports and highways and developing the public services system (electricity, water, health, education, sewage and transport). It managed to end illiteracy, all before Saddam Hussein turned against the leadership of his own party turning everything into ashes with his aggressive wars and flagrant violence against those who had different opinions.
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The current Iraqi regime is now into its 16th year. However, it has not matured enough like King Faisal I’s regime did in less than 12 years and it also did not reach the extent of maturity which Qasim’s rule reached in less than four years and al-Ba’ath regime reached in less than 10 years. The current regime has in the past 15 years increased the extent of comprehensive destruction caused by Saddam Hussein’s regime. There is not the faintest hope that it would change its course which is only reproducing destruction, crises, disasters and ordeals — a fate we have been suffering for the past 15 years.
The corrupt people who manage the current regime have not even left the aspired and desired state its cornerstone as the transitional phase that the corrupt had agreed upon shall remain open for several years and decades as this is what the permanence of corruption requires!
This article is also available in Arabic.
Adnan Hussein is the executive editor-in-chief of Al-Mada newspaper and head of the National Union of Iraqi journalists. Previously, he has held the position of Managing Editor in Asharq al-Awsat newspaper. He tweets under the handle @adnanhussein.