Today in Middle Eastern history: the Iran Hostage Crisis ends (1981)

On this date in 1981 the Iranian government finally released the last 52 of the 66 hostages it took when Iranian students/paramilitaries seized the US embassy in Tehran in November 1979. The Carter administration, when it wasn't busy planning botched rescue operations, spent most of the 444 days those hostages were held captive trying to … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Iran Hostage Crisis ends (1981)

Today in Middle Eastern history: Operation Desert Storm begins (1991)

Today is the anniversary of the initial airstrikes of Operation Desert Storm, the "oh, it's just one pull on the slots--what could go wrong?" of America's full-blown addiction to blowing things up in the Middle East. Thanks to YouTube, you kids out there can relive it as it happened...or, at least, "as it happened" to … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: Operation Desert Storm begins (1991)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Eisenhower Doctrine, or: They All Lived Happily Ever After (1957)

The United States enjoys two things more than just about anything else: doing war and making presidential doctrines about doing war. If you include "domestic" conflicts like the genocide of Native Americans, the United States has been at war for almost its entire existence, and of its 44 presidents, at least a quarter of them … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Eisenhower Doctrine, or: They All Lived Happily Ever After (1957)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Iran Hostage Crisis begins (1979)

When a group of Iranian students from an organization called "Muslim Student Followers of the Imam's Line," on their own volition though possibly with the approval of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, stormed the American embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979, and took 66 US citizens hostage, I doubt anybody involved realized what was about to … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Iran Hostage Crisis begins (1979)