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The Baath Regime and the Rise of Saddam Hussein. Three distinct phases of Iraqi development 1921-1958: Constitutional monarchy ; 1958-1968: Republican.

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Presentation on theme: "The Baath Regime and the Rise of Saddam Hussein. Three distinct phases of Iraqi development 1921-1958: Constitutional monarchy ; 1958-1968: Republican."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Baath Regime and the Rise of Saddam Hussein

2 Three distinct phases of Iraqi development : Constitutional monarchy ; : Republican (military) regimes; : Government controlled by the socialist, pan-Arab Baath Party,

3 General Qasim and his key advisors were influenced by socialist models: a planned economy, elimination of foreign economic influences (notably in the oil sector), and land reform.

4 Expropriations and nationalizations: In 1961, the partly British-owned Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC). The rest of petroleum industry was nationalized in stages until 1973 ; expropriation of land; large-scale industry, banking, insurance and services were nationalized in 1964 (the Arif government).

5 The Baath ideology Arab rebirth; the failure of the Arabs to achieve the promise of pan-Arab unity blamed on the West ; the transformation of the economic system from free enterprise to collectivism; the assertion of the country's economic independence.

6 The metamorphosis of Iraq from Third World to developed country driven by: First, the need to spread wealth more equitably; Second, the need to diversify Iraqs economy to avoid overdependence on a single commodity (oil).

7 Reasons for nationalization 1. in line with the Baath Party ideology ; 2. enabled the government to weaken rival power centers, whether landlords, the Shia business community or foreign oil companies; 3. to satisfy the large sector of the population that was employed by, and dependent on, the state.

8 The oil boom following the first Arab oil embargo Iraq was able for some years to pursue its socialist model without having to make hard choices between solvency and other priorities such as welfare benefits, infrastructure development, and even armed forces modernization. The country was earning $75 billion a year in the early 1970s from oil exports (in 2003 dollars). Per capita income had peaked at over $7,500 in 1980.

9 Early 1980s one of the Arab Worlds most advanced economies ; It had besides petroleum -- a considerable industrial sector, a well- developed transport system, and comparatively good infrastructure. Iraq had a relatively large middle class, per capita income levels comparable to Venezuela, Trinidad or Korea (it rose from 28% of urban population in 1958, to 54% in 1988). one of the best educational systems in the Arab world, a well educated population and generally good standards of medical care.

10 Consequences of the war with Iran The eight year war with Iran drained the economy of its surplus oil revenue and forced the regime into debt; Iraqis inability to obtain inputs, spare parts or to export oil or other products due to damaged ports; Weak points in the economic development strategy became apparent (very little planning, transportation and suplly bottlenecks, lack of technical skills, unwilllingness to assume authority or accountability); Rising prices; Relatively low oil prices, the exhaustion of its foreign exchange, growing import bills, and debt service payments all strained Iraq s balance of payments

11 Deviation from the socialist model (1980s) the government abolished a labor law that had guaranteed full employment ; laid off thousands of government workers (many of whom were foreign nationals); transferred other civil service workers to factory jobs; and privatized government-owned enterprises, including: bus companies, gas stations, agricultural enterprises, department stores, and factories.

12 Following Iraqs invasion of Kuwait in 1990 focus on: circumventing the international sanctions imposed as a consequence of the invasion, taking advantage of the Oil for Food Program, and obtaining additional assistance through humanitarian donations, illicit trade, and private barter arrangements.

13 Since 1991 The decline of education, health and living standards have declined; the lower ranks of state employees suffered greatly from years of war, economic sanctions, and the general decline of government revenues Salaries did not keep up with hyperinflation.

14 More recent trends Switch to export-oriented development; Diminished external rents; Flows of private capital; High unemployemnt rates

15 Security Apparatus The Baath partys cellular structure; System of military commissars; The Republican Guard; Partys paramilitary militia force; The Fedayeen: created in October 1994 in reaction to the Shiites and Kurdish uprisings of March 1991.

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