Bed, Ba’ath, and Beyond, part 2: War Is a Racket

Happy Hallowen! Today I'm very pleased to bring you the second part of Travis Haycraft's two-part series on Saddam Hussein's military buildup in Iraq. Part one took us through the 1970s, leading up to the Iran-Iraq War, and today's piece looks at how the war both affected and was affected by the military machine Saddam … Continue reading Bed, Ba’ath, and Beyond, part 2: War Is a Racket

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Today in Middle Eastern history: the Iran-Iraq War begins (1980)

The Iran-Iraq War is one of the major defining Middle Eastern events of the last half-century. Taken in conjunction with the Islamic Revolution of 1979, which is unavoidable given that one event immediately precipitated the other, it is the basis upon which a considerable part of modern Iranian politics is set. Oh, and its outcome … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Iran-Iraq War begins (1980)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Iran-Iraq War begins (1980)

The Iran-Iraq War is one of the major defining Middle Eastern events of the last half-century. Taken in conjunction with the Islamic Revolution of 1979, which is unavoidable given that one event immediately precipitated the other, it is the basis upon which a considerable part of modern Iranian politics is set. Oh, and its outcome … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Iran-Iraq War begins (1980)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Iran-Iraq War begins (1980)

and that's the way it was

The Iran-Iraq War is one of the major defining Middle Eastern events of the last half-century. Taken in conjunction with the Islamic Revolution of 1979, which is unavoidable given that one event immediately precipitated the other, it is the basis upon which much of modern Iranian politics is set. Oh, and its outcome also led directly to the Gulf War and America’s 20+ year obsession with taking out Saddam Hussein. And on this date in 1980, the war began with a series of Iraqi airstrikes against Iranian airfields, in preparation for a large ground invasion that was coming the next day.

At its core, the war was about two things: waterway rights in the Shatt al-Arab basin and Saddam’s fears about the Islamic Revolution. The Shatt al-Arab is a river that runs from the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers out to the Persian Gulf, skirting the Iran-Iraq…

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Today in Middle Eastern history: the Iran-Iraq War begins (1980)

The Iran-Iraq War is one of the major defining Middle Eastern events of the last half-century. Taken in conjunction with the Islamic Revolution of 1979, which is unavoidable given that one event immediately precipitated the other, it is the basis upon which a considerable part of modern Iranian politics is set. Oh, and its outcome … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Iran-Iraq War begins (1980)