Abdul Karim Kassem

Kassem, Abdul Karim


Born 1914 in Baghdad; died there Feb. 9, 1963. Iraqi statesman.

Kassem, the son of a petit bourgeois, received a military education. He became a brigadier general in 1955. He led the military coup d’etat that inaugurated the Iraqi Revolution of 1958. From 1958 to 1963, Kassem was the prime minister, minister of defense, and commander in chief of Iraq. Initially, his government carried out several progressive reforms. However, in late 1959, Kassem began to suppress the forces of democracy. During the coup d’etat of 1963, he was executed.

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1961 -- Kuwaiti people staged mass demonstrations protesting remarks by the Iraqi ruler, Abdul Karim Kassem, demanding merger of Kuwait.
Just like Iraqi and Syrian communists joined Saddam Hussein's and Hafez al-Assad's fronts, liberals infused with a flavor of social democracy before them, such as Iraqis Kamel al-Jaderji and Mohammad Hadid, had worked with the governments of the military coup leaders Bakr Sidqi (1936) and Abdul Karim Kassem (1958).
The CIA has murdered -- or attempted to assassinate -- a litany of foreign leaders including: Iraqi General Abdul Karim Kassem, Congolese President Patrice Lumumba, South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh, Cuban President Fidel Castro, democratically elected Chilean President Salvador Allende and Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi.
The only time they played a major role was in 1958-1959, when Abdul Karim Kassem encouraged them as a counter to Arab nationalists projects.