07 September 2003

death by "mysterious ways"....
this is from fareed zakaria's excellent column on msnbc. here's iraq's sordid history in the last century:

IRAQ HAS ONE of the most violent histories of any country on the globe. In comparison even with other states in the Middle East, Iraq’s modern history has been marked by turmoil, coups, bloodshed and mayhem. Consider the fate of its rulers:
Faisal I: Installed by the British in the wake of a violent revolt, he ruled for 10 years and was one of a handful of Iraqi leaders to die of natural causes, in 1933.
Ghazi I: Faisal’s son, he witnessed a coup against his prime minister three years after being installed and then, in 1939, died mysteriously. The official explanation was that he drove his car into a lamppost.
Faisal II: The young king, his regent and almost the entire royal family and entourage were killed in a bloody coup in 1958.
Abdul Karim Qassem: Qassem came to power in the coup of 1958. In 1963 he was killed in a coup himself.
Abdul Salam Arif: Arif came to power in the 1963 coup, which unleashed a wave of massacres across the country. Three years later he died mysteriously in a helicopter accident.
Abdul Rahman Arif: Brother of the above, he lasted about as long. In July 1968 he was ousted in the Baathist coup and exiled to Istanbul.
Ahmed Hasan-al-Bakr: Became president after the 1968 coup and stayed in power until 1979, when he stepped down for reasons of “ill health” in favor of his deputy, Saddam Hussein.

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