196. Editorial Note

In John S.D. Eisenhower’s “Synopsis of State and Intelligence material reported to the President,” July 10–13, the following account of events on Iraq was included:

“Anti-Communist elements have been further encouraged by the tenor of Qasim’s speeches in the past several days. A number of high Army officers predict that Communist officials in the government will be purged soon after the 14 July celebrations and conservative former officials will be called to serve.

“A serious riot involving Communists and security forces has been reported in a town in southern Iraq on 10 July.

“Iraq has apparently made devious overtures to reestablish diplomatic relations with Jordan. Jordan’s reply through the same channel that it is not averse to such a resumption provided (1) Qasim expresses regret over the murder of King Faisal, and (2) certain possessions which the Hashemites have taken to Iraq be returned to Jordan.” (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Eisenhower Diaries)

On July 14, John Eisenhower included the following on Iraq in his “Synopsis”:

“Baghdad Radio on 13 July announced the reorganization and enlargement of Qasim’s cabinet to include four new members. Three of these, according to their backgrounds, are extreme leftists. Biographical information is not sufficient to determine whether the three are aligned with the Communist party.” (Ibid.)

The Director of Central Intelligence, Allen Dulles, briefed the National Security Council at its 413th Meeting, July 13, on the cabinet reorganization in Iraq. Dulles’ account, part of his briefing on “Significant World Developments Affecting U.S. Security,” reads as follows:

“With respect to developments in Iraq, Mr. Dulles stated that it was difficult to interpret the meaning of the recent reshuffle of the Cabinet. It was plainly something of a sop to the Communists because three of the four new Cabinet members were extreme Leftists. On the other hand, developments suggest a continuing trend toward a course of action which would free Qasim from dependence on the Communists. In sum, we were a little disappointed in the new Cabinet although it offered no dramatic changes.” (Ibid., NSC Records)

The Embassy in Baghdad submitted an analysis of the new Cabinet in telegram 130 from Baghdad, July 15, which was similar to Dulles’ assessment. (Department of State, Central Files, 787.00/7–1559) This was a view not shared by the Israelis, who used an official [text not declassified] to “plant” the view with the United States that the new Iraqi Government clearly strengthened Qassim’s hand against the Communists. (Telegram 173 from Ankara, July 17; ibid., 787.13/7–1759)