The perfect storm : violence in Qasim Era Iraq, 1958-1963
Moe, Jeffrey Donald
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This thesis explores new ideas for the foundations for state violence in Iraq by looking specifically at the outbreaks of spectacular violence during the Qasim Era (1958-1963). In order to frame the discussion, this study looks first at how the British established a model for state violence during the Monarchy period (1921-1958), which eventually both validated and radicalized the opposition parties. The second chapter examines the violence of the everyday in Iraq, and how the spectacular violence of the Qasim Era finds historical context within everyday violence and ritual. In the final chapter, this thesis discusses how the radicalized violence of the opposition parties melded with the violence of the everyday to create spectacular acts of ritualized violence. After the coup d’état of 8 February 1963, the Ba’ath Party institutionalized this radical new brand of violence, creating a foundation for the state violence to come under Saddam Hussein. This violence was experienced only by the Iraqi Communists at first, but was later experienced by the whole nation.