200. Editorial Note

On September 10 Allen Dulles briefed the National Security Council at its 418th Meeting on “Significant World Developments Affecting U.S. Security.” Included in this briefing was the following on the situation in Iraq:

“Mr. Dulles said that the situation in Iraq was considerably more tense because of the growing feeling of the anti-Communists that Kassem will not take forthright action against Communism. The core of anti-Communist sentiment is in the Army, even though the Army is to some extent penetrated by the Communists. General Abdi is the most frequently-mentioned possible leader of an anti-Communist regime succeeding Kassem. The UAR is shifting toward a more active role in Iraq, including the dispatch of arms and money to bolster pro-UAR elements in the country. Fear of a Communist coup prevails but there is no evidence that such a coup is contemplated. In fact the Iraqi Communists are now taking a softer line. Any attempt at a coup could mean civil war.” (Memorandum of discussion by Boggs, September 10; Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records)

General Saleh al-Abdi, a trusted confidant of Qassim, was the Military Governor General of Iraq and had been one of the original perpetrators of the July 1958 revolution. (Memorandum from H.W. Glidden of RME/NE to Meyer, September 14; Department of State, Central Files, 787.00/9–1459)