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[casi] 'I am commanded to invite you ...'

Dear List,

Re-reading Karen Dabrowska's excellent mine of information (2002, Bradt
Travel Guides: Iraq) I also revisited Britain's General Stanley Maude, who
led the conquering of Baghdad in March 1917  (boy have the US and UK latched
on to the importance of anniversaries in the Arab world - and got it wrong.)


'Oh people of Baghdad, for twenty six generations you have suffered under
strange tyrants ..... this policy is abhorrant to Great Britian and the
Allies, for there can be neither peace nor prosperity where there is enmity
and misgovernment. Therefore I am commanded to invite you, through your
nobles, elders and representatives, to participate in the management of your
own civil affairs in collaboration with the political representatives of
Great Britain who accompany the British Army, so that you may be united with
your kinsmen .... in realising the aspiration of your race.' (Patronising so
and so.)

General Maude, of course succomed to cholera and is buried in Baghdad's
North Gate Cemetary.

Not, however, before the 'temporay administration' records Dabrowska: 'For
its new governors, became a hornets nest.'

'Nationalist sentiments, orignially directed against the Turks (the Ottoman
s) were soon directed against the British .... It became clear that the
Iraqis would no longer tolerate (an imposed regime) '
And the rest is messy colonial history.

We really do never learn.

Best, felicity a.


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