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Al-Menbar Group and the Iraqi communist movement

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This article, drawing on party literature and author interviews, surveys the intellectual trajectory and ideological critique of the Al-Menbar, which started as a dissatisfied group within the Iraqi Communist Party (ICP) during the 1980s and subsequently emerged as a break-away faction. The Al-Menbar critique of the ICP, which it viewed as intellectually and operationally stagnant, covered the central issues of Iraqi politics, including: a discussion of the collapse of the progressive ‘National Front’ in 1979 and the consequential repression of the ICP by the Ba’th; the accelerating Iran–Iraq war; the nature of the ‘Kurdish question’ within Iraqi communist politics; and the role of the Iraqi revolutionary movement within the context of Arab politics. Finally, this article assesses the legacy of the short lifespan of Al-Menbar within the Iraqi revolutionary movement in particular, and Iraqi politics generally.
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Keywords: Ba‘th Party; Iran-Iraq War; Iraqi Communist Party; Iraqi patriotism; Kurdish issues; Sectarian politics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The University of Calgary

Publication date: June 1, 2013

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  • The International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies is a new peer-reviewed, tri- annual, academic publication devoted to the study of modern Iraq. In recognition of Iraq's increasingly important position on the world stage, the time is right for a new journal dedicated to scholarly engagement with the country.
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