Iraq Under General Nuri
Waldemar J. Gallman
The Johns Hopkins Press
General Nuri al-Said was one of the Middle East’s most able statesmen in this century, one of Nasser’s chief rivals for Arab leadership and power. Unfortunately for history, however, he kept few records of his activities, even while in office.
These recollections, written by the former United States Ambassador to Iraq, come from the author’s almost daily associations with Nuri from 1954 to 1958, crucial years for Iraq and the Middle East generally. Several issues discussed by the author have never been made public until now—particularly the plight of Anglo-American relations in Iraq from 1954 to 1958.
Dictatorial and generally unpopular, Nuri was anti-Communist and pro-West, with deep understanding of the United States. His contributions to Iraq’s welfare went far beyond political achievements.
The author is critical of former Secretary of State Dulles and of American policy on the Middle East in regard to the Baghdad Pact. He relates how Dulles instructed him to approach the Iraqis enlisting their support for a Northern Tier Defense Arrangement. Finding enthusiastic support for the Pact, Gallman then learned that Dulles had lost interest and the United States refused to join, greatly compromising Iraqi and other Middle Eastern supporters who had expected American backing and membership.
A controversial chapter on "The British in Iraq” accuses Britain of frequently furthering her national interests rather than those of Iraq.
Mr. Gallman has written principally a report from the viewpoint of diplomatic history. His interpretation of Nuri as a true Iraqi patroit, Arab nationalist, and statesman is an authentic and colorful addition to the literature of recent Middle Eastern affairs.
Waldemar J. Gallman has held important posts for the State Department in Cuba, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Latvia, and the Free City of Danzig. He held the rank of Minister in London and was the United States Ambassador to Poland, the Union of South Africa, and Iraq. He also served as Director General of the Foreign Service and was a member of the faculty, graduate of George Washington University. He is presently acting as Adviser for the Korean Foreign Service Training Institute of Seoul.