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I suggest, therefore, that the Department determine whether the situation in Iraq is characteristic of that in other Arab countries.If it is, then we should re-examine whether the lands, manpower and oil of Arab World are as important to us as we have thought.So area defense, which they interpret as involvement and as inviting Soviet attack, is unpopular and will not be embraced now as an idea.On the other hand, a MEDO in Cyprus developing healthfully, with Iraqi Government informed of its development on continuing basis, can have a growing fascination for the Iraqi military and through them improve the likelihood of eventual association of Iraqi Government.I was warned too that in the Orient where grudges are nurished and blood feuds flourish not to believe that lapse of time will change Arab attachment to Palestine, or that the young generation will hold different views or that US loans and grants will cause Arabs to forget and forgive.French and British imperialism in North Africa regularly was the second subject introduced by Iraqis.The pathological unanimity of this expression caused me to sympathize with members of Development Board who fear that the several years necessary to complete their major projects may not be accorded them by a people impatient for results.
My informants seemed to prefer to look to the past rather than the future.The development of natural resources generally came up next for discussion although Foreign Minister Jamali and a few others gave third place to the advancement of Fertile Crescent idea. The Prime Minister said it was nothing while other Ministers, generally sympathetic, said it had had little impact to date.The more critical complained that we had oversold the program for two years and ended by creating a housing shortage in Baghdad to provide homes for TCA personnel.In searching an explanation of such unrealistic attitude I was reminded that Mesopotamia has experienced wars from the beginning of time but never reconstruction after a war.Moreover, in two World Wars Arabs fought with the Allies but experienced disillusionment and felt abandoned in the post-war periods.
This description points up how weak our position is in Iraq.