Abd al-Karim Qasim

From Wikiquote
Jump to: navigation, search
I am with all the parties of all trends if their aims are to serve the homeland, freedom and peace. Nothing will keep me far from them, neither religion, political parties, language nor nationality; I am with them and we will always march forward hand in hand in the procession of freedom and peace.

Abd al-Karim Qasim (21 November 19149 February 1963) was the Prime Minister of Iraq from 1958 to 1963.

Quotes[edit]

  • People, I am the son of the people. I pledge before God that I will sacrifice myself for your sake. I shall offer my life in defence of the Iraqi people.
    • August 5, 1958, as quoted in Dr Lorenzo Kimball (1972) The Changing of Political Power in Iraq, 1958 to 1971.
  • We cooperate with our brotherly Arab states... on the basis of the individual interests of those Arab states.
    • November 26, 1958, as quoted in Malik Mufti (1996), Sovereign Creations: Pan-Arabism and Political Order in Syria and Iraq.
  • The Iraqi people consist of brotherly nationalities which have amalgamated in order to defend the existence of the eternal Iraqi Republic. [This is] why we always declare 'long live true Iraqi unity, for in it lies our strength.
    • March, 1959, as quoted in Adeed Dawisha (2009), Iraq: A Political History from Independence to Occupation.
  • Death to the imperialist! Return Kuwait to its homeland!
    • As quoted in "Kassem's Corner", Time (July 21, 1961).
  • I don't want to be the joke of the world, and I don't want to be thought of as another Hitler swallowing up people.
    • As quoted in "Kassem's Corner", Time (July 21, 1961).
  • I do not wish parties or tendencies, whatever the color, to penetrate into the ranks of the armed forces under any circumstances.
    • As quoted in Ibrahim Al-Marashi and Sammy Salama (2008), Iraq's Armed Forces: An Analytical History.

Principles of the 14th July Revolution (1959)[edit]

I am from the people and I am the son of the people. I will work for the sake of the people. I will sacrifice my life for the liberty of this people and safeguarding, protecting and preserving it from all evils.
The parochial groupings and party affiliation at this time are of no benefit to the country... the purpose of this is to create disunity and weaken our strength and play one against the other. We are in a period of transition. We have resolved to protect the gains of our Revolution at any rate.
  • We, the people, were denied of the right even to mention the word peace or peace partisans and everyone related to them had to suffer from imprisonment as if it were an unpardonable crime. But now, after the people have been liberated from slavery, and after July 14 ha dawned on us, this Republic and her sons have been liberated and have been marching on the path of freedom ever since.
    • Speech delivered at the second congress of the peace partisans (April 14, 1959).
  • Peace is victorious always and for ever. Do you remember that aggression gained success and was not crushed by the last blow? Aggression, whether collective or unilateral, is inevitably to be crushed. If you just glance at courts and judges you will see that these courts and judges were formed to crush aggression or anyone who things of aggression. These courts and judges are only working for the sake of peace and ending aggression. This noble idea should prevail all over the world.
    • Speech delivered at the second congress of the peace partisans (April 14, 1959).
  • No doubt, I am proud of the people. I am from the people and I am the son of the people. I will work for the sake of the people. I will sacrifice my life for the liberty of this people and safeguarding, protecting and preserving it from all evils.
    • Speech delivered at the second congress of the peace partisans (April 14, 1959).
  • Brothers! I have the honour and I am proud to be in your ranks, and I pledge the Almighty that I will always struggle for the sake of peace. As for the forces of the Army which we have prepared, we prepared them to face those who attacks [sic] peace. We are a peaceful and a neutral state. We attack no one, but anyone who attacks us and starts aggression, we will stop him.
    • Speech delivered at the second congress of the peace partisans (April 14, 1959).
  • The freedom of an individual merges in the freedom of all and serves the freedom of all.
    • Speech delivered at the second congress of the peace partisans (April 14, 1959).
  • I had previously announced that I am above trends and leanings, above party politics and political parties. This is because I strive for the people as a whole to serve them.
    • Speech delivered at the second congress of the peace partisans (April 14, 1959).
  • I am with all the parties of all trends if their aims are to serve the homeland, freedom and peace. Nothing will keep me far from them, neither religion, political parties, language nor nationality; I am with them and we will always march forward hand in hand in the procession of freedom and peace.
    • Speech delivered at the second congress of the peace partisans (April 14, 1959).
  • Brothers! The days have gone when the workers and the toilers used to suffer bitterly. We protect all of the them. And I am under the protection. All of us are under the protection of the people, we work for the people and derive strength from them.
    • Speech delivered in the gardens of the Shaab Hall (May 1, 1959).
  • The worker and the employer are now brothers who cannot be separated one from the other. The days of exploitation of the whole for the benefit of the individual have gone. The worker and the employer are now brothers, working side by side in harmony and solidarity for the people and the immortal Iraqi Republic.
    • Speech delivered in the gardens of the Shaab Hall (May 1, 1959).
  • Brother workers! If you wish to stamp out imperialism, you have to exert yourself to work an extra hour. This will undermine the structure of the foreigner and the coloniser. An extra working hour can undermine the structure of the imperialists and threaten their existence.
    • Speech delivered in the gardens of the Shaab Hall (May 1, 1959).
  • No longer shall the intrigues and mischief-making of the imperialists deceive us. No longer shall our work be interrupted under flimsy pretexts. We are working to attain a bright and better future, ensuring freedom and prosperous living not only to ourselves but to posterity.
    • Speech delivered in the gardens of the Shaab Hall (May 1, 1959).
  • Brothers! The Army and the people have merged into a single entity. They have become a source of strength which is worrying the foreigners. The foreigner, along with imperialism, therefore began to resort to other means to split up our ranks so as to overcome us. But these attempts on the part of the imperialists to split up our ranks have gone long ago. Imperialism now tries to split up our ranks by calling for narrow parties and restricted groupings. The purpose of this is to play one against the other, while the foreigners and the imperialists will sit as spectators. But we shall thrust a stone in the mouth of imperialism. We shall overcome imperialism and we shall close this gap in its face. The parochial groupings and party affiliation at this time are of no benefit to the country... the purpose of this is to create disunity and weaken our strength and play one against the other. We are in a period of transition. We have resolved to protect the gains of our Revolution at any rate.
    • Speech delivered in the gardens of the Shaab Hall (May 1, 1959).
  • Some people have come to me and said: "O leader, we wish you would form a party, thus saving us from these parties and groupings. My answer was that we are in a period of transition and that my party is the entire people, and I belong to the party of the people. All of us are the party of God, party of right and justice.
    • Speech delivered in the gardens of the Shaab Hall (May 1, 1959)
The woman, your sister, has achieved victory. She will share with you, sooner or later, the responsibilities of administration.
  • The woman, your sister, has achieved victory. She will share with you, sooner or later, the responsibilities of administration. The peasant, likewise, has achieved victory, and so has the employer. Formerly, the employer used to fear for his life and for his property. Now, the employer and the worker are brothers working together in both prosperity and adversity to protect the gains of the Iraqi Republic. They work constantly not for any transient selfish interest but for the interest of the people.
    • Speech delivered in the gardens of the Shaab Hall (May 1, 1959).
  • Brothers! We want from you more work. We want from you work and perfection. We want from you continuous work. Every day must be utilized to accumulate benefits for this homeland and this people.
    • Speech delivered in the gardens of the Shaab Hall (May 1, 1959).
  • As to these traitors, their days are gone and they have been dwarfed in front of the people. The people have become armed with patience and faith. I insist on the co-operation and tolerance among people. As to the execution or non-execution of the traitors, this is a matter which is left for us to decide.
    • Speech delivered in the gardens of the Shaab Hall (May 1, 1959).
  • All of you now what the situation was before the Revolution. All of you know of the regime which we have exterminated. It was that regime which was mercilessly destroying all the sincere people who stood in its way in the course of the struggle for God, for the people and for the homeland.
    • Speech delivered at the officers' club (June 16, 1959).
  • We are not against parties nor are we against the loyal groups, we are always with them, helping them across the ocean of this life. We do not like that the trends and leanings of these parties should get into the ranks of the Army under any circumstances. The reason for this, brothers, is to preserve the unity of the Army and make it always ready to serve the people and the freedom of the people.
    • Speech delivered at the officers' club (June 16, 1959).
  • We do not wish to become subordinate to any power. We will be friends with the powers of the world. We will be sincere friends to the powers that are sincere in their intentions and their friendship to us.
    • Speech delivered at the officers' club (June 16, 1959).

The historical extempore speech at the Reserve Officers' College (1959)[edit]

Patience will benefit you in every hour, every time and every opportunity. It helps you to overcome your opponent, howsoever strong he may be. It will help you in times of distress and hardships, in battles and in war and peace.
I ask you, are there any frontiers of a foreign country between us and Syria? Is there any foreign country between us and Syria? Where is it? Are there any frontiers of a foreign country between Egypt and Sudan, or between Egypt and Libya? All are the frontiers of our brothers.
  • We are in a new era. The Almighty has destined us to serve this country and helped to succeed in our Revolution, which aimed at destroying injustice and tyranny, from which we suffered for many long years.
  • The wealth of the country was robbed and wasted in the interest of imperialism and the foreigner. In fact, everything in this country was exploited for the foreigner. The son of the people was living in miserable conditions. He was humiliated and insulted. Had we been patient for a time, it would have only been for the greatest explosion, as our people exploded with the Army in one day and destroyed the idols who were following the foreigners.
  • Patience will benefit you in every hour, every time and every opportunity. It helps you to overcome your opponent, howsoever strong he may be. It will help you in times of distress and hardships, in battles and in war and peace.
  • Brethren: I advise you to avoid attacking any of your brothers even if he harms you or surpasses the limits of ingratitude. The strength of any one amongst you is the strength of the other.
  • This country has become an independent Republic with complete sovereignty. This has been laid down in our Interim Constitution. This country is to be shared by the citizens, the Arabs and the Kurds. This entity is indivisible in any way. No one can divide nor disintegrate the Republic of Iraq from the North to the South and from the East to the West.
  • My Brethren: The enemy who failed to penetrate through this point resorted to creating intrigues and dissension among the brothers and causing doubt in the minds of the people. So, one says that this is a Nationalist, the other says that this is a Communist, while yet another says that this is a Baathist or a Democratic. I say that this (the individual) is a Patriot - the son of this country.
  • The work which is done here and the help which is extended to our brothers are our aims. Take our sister Algeria which is struggling against oppressive forces and making best efforts for liberation and independence. We extended our aid to Algeria with full sincerity and faith in justice. We have pledged to continue our help to Algeria until Algeria is liberated.
  • We will achieve our goals, one of which is the collective rule and the end of autocracy and dictatorship. The people are the ruler, the absolute master, and an individual has no right to direct the affairs of the people. The individual, how long he may live, will die but the people will remain. We are working for the future generations and for the welfare of the people. We fought in Palestine for the sake of the people and to regain their liberty. We are still fighting and will not spare any effort, nor would we fail in our work for the sake of God and nor would we fail to be selfless in the service of the people, our guide.
  • We may have pledged to support the freedom of the people so that we ourselves may enjoy the results. We are working for the sake of God and for the sake of the people. We do not need to be known, nor do we need propaganda. We work for the sake of God and we know that how long we may live, we will ultimately die and the people will remain. The absolute rule is by the people and not by individuals.
  • Iraq strives to safeguard the interests of her sons within the framework of true national unity and the general interests of its brothers within the Arab framework. I ask you, are there any frontiers of a foreign country between us and Syria? Is there any foreign country between us and Syria? Where is it? Are there any frontiers of a foreign country between Egypt and Sudan, or between Egypt and Libya? All are the frontiers of our brothers.
  • [The newspapers] are talking of nationalism as if it were the property of an individual or as if it were confined to one group only. Nationalism is the property of all. Nobody can take possession of it just as a glittering word which attracts the hearts of stupid people.

Quotes about Qasim[edit]

His supporters view him as a defender of the poor who fought for the state’s rights against the interests of the West. His detractors view him as the first in a series of disastrous would-be strongmen who led Iraq on to the path to instability that culminated in dictator Saddam Hussein. ~ Raheem Salman and Ned Parker
He did not amass wealth. He put his salary in his pocket so he could distribute it to the poor. When he was executed he only had a dinar and a quarter on him. ~ Jabbar Maan al-Khafaji
  • The Snake Charmer. The man who stands between Iraq and all-out Communism is a lean, hard-muscled and ascetic professional soldier with a fixed, snaggle-toothed smile. His name Abdul Karim Kassem. On the face of it, Karim Kassem, 44, seems a weak reed on which to rest the free world's hopes. Modest in deportment, moderate in conversation, Kassem is nonetheless inordinately and naively suspicious... Cursed by shyness and a weak, high-pitched voice, he is sadly lacking in the rabble-rousing skills on which most successful Arab politicians rely. Most serious of all, he is totally inexperienced in affairs of state.
    • Anon, "The Dissembler". Time (April 13, 1959).
  • While there is much to admire about Qasim and the positive impact that he had on Iraqi society, he was, at the end of the day, a dictator, however benign.
    • Eric Davis "Abd al-Karim Qasim", Kufa Review. No.2 - issue 1- Winter 2013.
  • He was having his breakfast in an open restaurant together with the poor people, daily laborers and soldiers... He was visiting the bakeries and asking the owners to make the loaves of bread bigger.
  • He was honorable, sincere, with high dignity and integrity. He was always, in his speeches, repeating that he was poor, living with the poor, living in a poor neighborhood, that he knew their sufferings.
  • And so the unopinionated, unsassuming Qasim whom I knew in 1958 gradually got the taste of being the only man in the country. In other words, we built a dictator... Our people are in truth builders of dictators.
    • Hashim Jwad, as quoted in Ibrahim Al-Marashi and Sammy Salama (2008), Iraq's Armed Forces: An Analytical History.
  • Unlike other so-called Iraqi leaders he was not pretentious: he did not live in the Prime Minister's usual residence but in his modest house in the Al Batawein district. He did not amass wealth. He put his salary in his pocket so he could distribute it to the poor. When he was executed he only had a dinar and a quarter on him.
    • Jabbar Maan al-Khafaji, as quoted in Karen Dabrowska & Geoff Hann (2008) Bradt Iraq Then and Now: A Guide to the Country and Its People.
  • He apparently believed he was destined by fate to fulfill a great mission assigned to him by Allah; his dedication finally reached the martyr-complex stage.
    • Dr Lorenzo Kimball (1972) The Changing of Political Power in Iraq, 1958 to 1971.
  • The people related to Qasim on the basis that he alone personified the revolution. Qasim wanted it this way, and the people seemed comfortable with this setup. Qasim, however, in electing to rule as the sole leader, alienated many of the so-called Free Officers who made the revolution with him. This made him draw even closer to the people.
    • Stephen C. Pelletière (2001), Iraq and the International Oil System: Why America Went to War in the Gulf.
  • His supporters view him as a defender of the poor who fought for the state’s rights against the interests of the West. His detractors view him as the first in a series of disastrous would-be strongmen who led Iraq on to the path to instability that culminated in dictator Saddam Hussein.
  • We must consider him a good example for politicians and leaders in the government... Each official in the current state of Iraq should review what this man has done for Iraq.

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about: