Adnan Pachachi

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Adnan Pachachi : biography

14 May 1923 –
Iraq’s Voice at the United Nations, 1959–1969: A Personal Record (Quartet Books, 1991)
  • "My strong sense of identification with every Arab country struggling for its freedom, and especially with Palestine, and my belief in Arab unity has become stronger over the years. Without unity I see no future for the Arabs, and I am proud to call myself a fervent Arab nationalist."(p. 19)
Iraq’s Voice at the United Nations, 1959–1969: A Personal Record (Quartet Books, 1991)
  • "I was against the invasion of Iraq. But after the war I thought I would go back to Iraq in order to help establish a sector of democracy in the country which I think Iraq needed at the time. But unfortunately the United States government came with the firm belief that Iraq’s society by its nature is divided along sectarian lines and therefore the political system which was established had to reflect those differences. I think that was a grave error in my opinion and it opened the way for the sectarian parties to gain power. But they proved to be unequal to the task of governing and the government of the last four years or five years can be characterized in two words. Corrupt and incompetent.". The PRI’s World. August 31, 2010
  • "The relations of the Arab people with Western Europe have been influenced by two major factors: religion and colonialism. The rise of Islam in the Mediterranean region coincided with the consolidation of the power of the Christian Church in Western Europe. The inevitable clash between the two great movements was climaxed in the Crusades. After this first European incursion into the Arab world, there elapsed 500 years during which Western Europe vastly increased its power while the Arab world lived through a long period of stagnation and decay under foreign rule. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the Arab countries fell under European domination in rapid succession: Algeria in 1830, Tunisia in 1881, Egypt in 1882, the Sudan in 1898, Morocco in 1907-12, Libya in 1911, Iraq, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria in 1918. The history of the Arab world during the past hundred years has been dominated by the struggle against European domination. The tragic experience and bitter memories of the numerous conflicts that arose between the Arabs and their colonizers could not but influence the Arabs’ thinking and their approach to international relations when they finally emerged after the Second World War as fully independent nations responsible for the management of their own affairs."(p. 400)
Iraq’s Voice at the United Nations, 1959–1969: A Personal Record (Quartet Books, 1991)

Diplomatic and political career

Pachachi was born in Baghdad into the Abdah branch of the Shammar tribe. As the son of Muzahim al-Pachachi, nephew of Hamdi al-Pachachi and the cousin of Nadim al-pachachi, he is the scion of a Sunni Arab nationalist family with a long tradition in Iraqi politics and a graduate from Victoria College, Alexandria in Egypt. He supported the 1941 Iraqi coup d’état led by Rashid Ali Al-Gaylani as a member of the Kata’ib al-Shabab (Youth Brigade).

Pachachi completed his undergraduate studies in 1943 at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, majoring in Political Science, attending the university during this period he was inspired by the early emergence of the Arab Nationalist Movement on the campus. After his return to Iraq, his application for a job in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was refused by the Iraqi Criminal Investigation Department due to his participation in the Kata’ib al-Shabab and support for the 1941 coup.

Eventually in 1950, he was appointed assistant director of the Political Department in the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs and continued to work in the Foreign Service over the next eight years. In 1958 the union of Egypt and Syria was led by Gamal Abdel Nasser and the United Arab Republic was founded. Pachachi had been a vocal supporter of Nasser, particularly during the Suez War in 1956 although official Iraqi government policy at the time was aligned with the British against Nasser. It was for this reason he was not trusted by the Prime Minister Nuri as-Said and deemed to be a Nasserist. On 13 July 1958 he was dismissed and removed from the Iraqi Foreign Service due to his pro-Nasserite positions.