chapter  6
18 Pages

The struggle for the republic, 1958–1979

T he 14 July coup was quick, well-planned and effective. Itrequired the participation of only a small part of the army and around 200 officers. At around 6:30 in the morning, after surrounding the

Royal Palace and taking the radio station, Colonel aAbdul-Salam aArif, Qasim’s right-hand man in the coup, announced the downfall of the monarchy to a

stunned nation. The army’s “Proclamation Number 1” read as follows:

Noble people of Iraq, trusting in God and with the aid of the sons of the people

and the national armed forces, we have undertaken to liberate the beloved

homeland from the corrupt crew that imperialism installed. . . . The army is

of you and for you and has carried out what you desired. . . . We appeal to you,

therefore to report to the authorities all offenders, traitors, and corrupt people so

that they could be uprooted. . . . Rest assured that we will continue to work on

your behalf. Power shall be entrusted to a government emanating from you and

inspired by you. This can only be realized by the creation of a people’s republic.