Today in Middle Eastern history: the Yom Kippur War begins (1973) and Anwar Sadat is assassinated (1981)

and that's the way it was

October 6 is a dual anniversary for contemporary Egypt. On the one hand, October 6, 1973, is the date when Egyptian forces crossed the Suez Canal in a surprise attack against Israeli forces in the (then-Israeli occupied) Sinai Peninsula while Syrian forces attacked Israeli positions in the (still-Israeli occupied) Golan Heights, beginning the Yom Kippur War, which would last through October 25. The day is commemorated as “Military Day” in Egypt because of the success of that opening attack and the eventual success (sort of, if you look at it just right) of the war effort. On the other hand, October 6, 1981, is the date when the man who led Egypt into and through the war, President Anwar Sadat, was assassinated by members of Egyptian Islamic Jihad while watching the annual Military Day parade through Cairo.

As I often do when he’s already covered the ground I’m about to…

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