Al-Jamil, Khaled (1978) Nationalism in Iraq 1936-1941: Rashid Ali and foreign involvement. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

The present work is a study of the background to the Rashid Ali move­ment of 1941, and the influence of Arab nationalism, as well as the British, French, and Axis involvement in the events leading up to 1941. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between the pan-Arab national­ists in Iraq during the war years on the one hand, and Britain and the Axis Powers, on the other. Because it is intended mainly to examine the strategies and policies of Britain, Germany and Italy in relation to a particular area, this thesis is not concerned with the details of military operations - whether in Europe, the Western Desert, or in Iraq itself - except where
they are immediately relevant to the subject under examination. This thesis sets out to discus_s four major issues:
Firstly, the repercussions of the developments brought about by the complex and often ambiguous clauses of the post-World War I peace settle­ments, and their impact on the Arab Middle East, the Arab national movement, and on the machinery of government in Iraq, Britain granted independence to Iraq in 1932, but it was an independence hedged with a binding treaty which virtually preserved British interests in an area which traditionally was her "sphere of influence". This unnatural status not only gave rise to a revival of nationalist feelings, but in fact encouraged corrupt politicians to involve the army in politics.
A second issue to be investigated is the struggle between the nationalist and the moderate elements over the course, or policy, the country should pursue vis-a-vis Iraq's commitments with Britain. This period is best characterized by the recurrence of the coup d'etat as a determining factor in government changes.
The third issue is the Iraqi nationalist reaction to the division of Europe into two warring blocs, and Hitler's impressive victories. It also concerns the Axis overtures and propaganda efforts to woo the Arabs in order to undermine Britain's position and prestige in the Arab Middle East.
The final issue to be analysed is the series of Axis-Iraqi initiatives to pave the way for a mutually profitable collaboration. However, there were several obstacles to be surmounted, such as Germany's Italian and Vichy considerations, Hitler's own disinclination to be involved in an Arab venture, and his pessimism regarding a successful outcome of such an alliance. Furthermore, Churchill was zealously determined both to offset and prevent a German penetration into the Middle East, and to nip Rashid Ali's open confrontation in the bud.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: For access to the hard copy thesis, check the University Library catalogue.
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Politics, Philosophy, International Relations and Environment
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 27 May 2019 11:26
Last Modified: 28 May 2019 08:40
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/6385

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