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Additional resources for Culture, History and Ideology in the Formation of Ba‘thist Iraq, 1968–89
50 The Ba'th regime's treatment of the Shi'a and the Kurds and its attempt to resolve the tension between the pan-Arab and local Iraqi policies are the subject of Chapter 2. The attempts to resolve the tension between pan-Arabism and loeal patriotism on the eultural-ideologieal level are the subject of the other chapters of this book. 2 The Ba'th in Power: The Political and Ideological Setting THE BA'TH, THE SHI'A AND THE KURDS In the political, social and economic spheres the infant regime embarked on a policy of 'stick and carrot' or, as it came to be known among the populace of Iraq, al-tarhib wal-targhib ('intimidation and attraction ').
13 Another such festivallikewise held in the south, at Babyion, took place at a time when the regime - after nationalizing the assets of the Western-owned Iraqi Petroleum Company (IPC), and at the height of its confrontation with Iran - was clinging on 32 Culture, History and /deology in Ba'thist /raq, /968-89 for dear life, making it particularly anxious to rally support among the Shi'i population, where Iranian inftuence was lO be particularly feared. 14 In 1980, a popular poetry festival was held in Baghdad, and the press stressed the attendance of President Saddam Husayn throughout its four-day duration.
The other is positive: the existenee in Iraq sinee the early 1950s of a cultural trend drawing inspiration from ancient Mesopotamia made it possible to pursue the eampaign as an extension of an existing (and well-established) praetiee. With regard to the negative reason, as I shall endeavor to show, the Ba' th - unlike the followers of Egyptian Pharaonism in the 1920s and early 1930s, or Antun Sa'ada in Lebanon in the 1930s and 1940s - had no intention of disowning its links with the Arab nation at large.