18. Memorandum From the Department of State Executive Secretary (Battle) to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)0
- Possible Message to Head of Iraq Government
In a memorandum to the Secretary dated March 1, you indicated that the President would like to have the Department’s recommendation as to whether a personal letter might be sent to Prime Minister Qasim, the head of the Iraq Government.1
In the Department’s view, a personal message from the President to a foreign Chief of State or Head of Government is indeed a useful diplomatic tool. With regard to Prime Minister Qasim of Iraq, we think this instrument might well be employed, but preferably at some propitious occasion. U.S.-Iraq relations during the past year have returned to a measure of normalcy. Indications are that further improvement can be expected. However, the Iraqi revolutionary regime still harbors strong suspicions that we have “imperialistic” motivations. A Presidential message at this juncture, coming, so to speak, out of the blue, might well puzzle the Iraqis and rekindle suspicions that we have some ulterior motive.[Page 42]
You may assure the President that we are seeking an appropriate occasion for the dispatch of a Presidential message to the Iraqi Prime Minister. We are gratified by the President’s personal interest in this matter.
- Source: Department of State, S/S-NSC Files: Lot 72 D 316, NSAM 25. Confidential. Drafted by Jones and Meyer on March 6.↩
- Reference is to NSAM No. 25 from Bundy to Secretary Rusk, dated March 1, which also noted that the President “would like to have a draft letter for his consideration.” (Ibid.). A handwritten note on NSAM No. 25, initialed by Stoessel and dated March 2, reads: “I don’t know any background on this except that President reportedly said he was writing to lots of people these days—& if it wld. help any for him to write to Qasim—why not?” (Ibid.)↩
- Printed from a copy that indicates Stoessel signed for Battle above Battle’s typed signature.↩