Sunday, July 03, 2005

Author Edwin Black, "Banking on Baghdad: 7,000 Year History of Iraq

     It's not a 7,000 year history, it's mostly a story of the persecution of Jews of Iraq, a story leading up to the "Farhud"(sp?), the dispossession the Jews of Baghdad after WWII.  This guy is obviously an anti-Arab bigot.  Someone in the Ottoman Empire came up with a very modern Constitution, so his Pasha had him killed, according to Mr. Black.  It would have been more democratic than American in the 1780s, he says.  He calls it "the first, best and last hope" for democracy in the Middle East.  Edwin Black is a racist peice of crap, who should be rejected by C-SPAN, who is, instead, giving him a forum.  If this is any indication, he presents the "Golden Square" Iraqi coup of 1941 incorrectly.  He suggests that the Nazis sent crack air force to fight at Habbaniyah (the RAF base near Basra).  The other article suggests that the Nazis were quite late in providing any assistance, although it doesn't discuss the quality of the pilots provided by the Nazis during this period.  He's a bad historian.  This is an RAF report from 1941, including this paragraph, which shows that the Germans were neutralized by the mostly trainee-level British troops...

The operations of the German Air Force, to whose neutralisation so much attention had been paid, consisted for the most part of bombing and machine gun attacks on the hangars and dispersed aircraft at Habbaniya together with occasional low flying attacks on our troops in the Habbaniya area and on Army convoys approaching this area from the West. The scale of the attacks was never heavy and on the whole the damage done and casualties inflicted by the German aircraft were not serious. In one bombing attack, it is true, the ERRS of the Aircraft Depot was destroyed and in another a hangar containing 6 aircraft was burnt out, but apart from this and a few other less noteworthy incidents the German bombs did surprisingly little material damage. The low flying attacks of the Me110s were carried out with very little apparent plan, the pilots appearing content on many occasions to spray the whole Cantonment Area with cannon shells and bullets without any definite objective. It is true they made occasional attacks on aircraft around the aerodrome, but by making full use of dispersal and using dummy aircraft damage was reduced to a minimum. On the other hand the moral effect produced by the German attacks was considerable and was due more to their frequency than their accuracy.

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