lasting war of the 20th Century. Also the bloodiest, it was initiated by Iraq, with little
consideration for the intended outcome. The First Persian Gulf War had been
smoldering for centuries over a bed of coals fueled by differing religious beliefs,
and economical and political views, with encouragement from Third Party countries.
Finally sparked by an intended land grab, neither side appeared to have considered the
financial nor human cost racked up during hostilities. Nor did either side appear to
foresee the continuing cost that would go on for years after Official hostilities had
Prior to the beginning of the conflict, Iran and Iraq had both been colonies of
European nations. After the Second World War, both nations became sovereign and
began rebuilding themselves. Unfortunately, both nations ended up being ruled by
leaders who were deemed tyrannical and so went through many years of in-fighting and
attempted coups. Some of these leaders were protested against because of reported
corruption and mistreatment of their respective populaces but, underlying this was also
the sectarian separation between the Sunni and Shi-Ite sects of Islam.
After the final coop that stabilized Iraq, the Baath Socialist Party became the
ruling party. This group was almost exclusively Sunni even though the majority of the
populace were Shi-ite. Internal strife between the majority and the minority led to many
uprising attempts and the subsequent government reprisals. In October of 1978,
Saddam Hussein, at the insistence of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, expeled
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomein; who had been an exile in...
... middle of paper ...
... hundreds of thousands of “Living Martyrs”, as the Iranian government
proclaimed them; should continue to be a reminder to all leaders of the great cost
inherent in the indiscriminate use of Chemical Weapons.
1. CNN Staff, “Iraq-Iran Fast Facts”, May 6th, 2014, http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/30/world/meast/iraq-history-fast-facts/
2. Sam Langtree, “Sunni-Shia Tensions in Iran-Iraq War”, April 12, 2012, www.e-ir.info/2012/04/21/sunni-shia-tensions-in-iran-iraq-war.
3. The reader's companion to military history. Robert Cowley, Geoffrey Parker, editors. p. cm. Sponsored by the Society for Military History. Includes indexes. 1. Military history. I. Cowley, Robert. II. Parker, Geoffrey, 1943— III. Society for Military History Copyright © 1996Houghton Mifflin Company
4. History.com staff, “Iran-Iraq War”, 2009, www.history.com/topics/iran-iraq-war
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