|King Faisal II of Iraq (1935-1958)|
Monday, November 26, 2012
Iraqis Reconsider Royalty
The storming of the Bastille in 1789, and the repulsive French holiday celebrating it (spare me the technicality that the holiday officially commemorates the ephemeral Fête de la Fédération a year later), is not the only historical event that makes July 14 an ironic birthday for a monarchist. On that date in 1958, exactly twenty years before I was born, a clique of Iraqi army officers massacred their young King Faisal II and his family, paving the way for the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and all the chaos and misery that followed. Disgracefully this date has been a holiday in Iraq for years, but recently Iraqis have been prompted by an unprecedented exhibition in Baghdad on the monarchy to re-examine their royal history, as reported by the Christian Science Monitor and the Alaska Dispatch. Unsurprisingly for monarchists, the Kingdom of Iraq (1932-1958) now seems like a golden age in retrospect. When will the world ever learn?