Friday, October 06, 2006

Well played

I love reading history threads on Wikipedia, my last insomniac read was the first Gulf war between Iran and Iraq, which lasted for 8 years, and cost $1.8 trillion, a stalemate whose net result was cheap oil for US weaponry, a war that was funded by money loaned by Arab countries to Iraq, a debt so huge that it led to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, which led to another war in which it got gangraped, a trail of chemical weapon precursors sold by countries in Europe and Asia, a war so ghastly that it turned a fairly liberal Iran into a shriveled up islamofacist state under Khomeni.

The rivalry between Iran and Iraq was an ancient one, their territories marked by religious seismic cracks and fragile egos, under which lay a vast bed of oil, the engine for industrialisation, that could have ensured their dominance if they'd played their cards well.

Both sides lost the war. It plunged two ancient civilisations with an amazing amount of natural wealth, culture and history into totalitarianism and barbarism. The winner? Uncle Sam.

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