During the time we have left until our right-wing war advocates involve us in a war with Iran, a brief history of U.S.-Iranian relations should be useful.

During World War II, U.S. forces helped free Iran from Axis forces. We were considered its friend and ally. In 1953, the U.S. CIA was successful in overthrowing Iranian Premier Mosaddeq, who threatened to nationalize Iranian oil reserves. U.S. and Britain then re-established the Shah of Iran, Pahlavi, who ruled until overthrown by the Islamic Republic. One result was the U.S. Embassy hostage crisis that lasted until January 1981.

In 1980, our then-ally Iraq attacked Iran in a war that lasted nearly 10 years. Late in this period, Saddam Hussein attacked the former Iraq province of Kuwait. The U.S. and NATO saw this as a threat to world oil supplies. A coalition was formed and a mostly U.S. military force drove Iraq back to its own land, making Saddam Hussein our enemy. 

Bush the elder was not re-elected and the U.S. spent eight years with Mr. Clinton in power and no major wars. Soon after Bush the younger was elected, Islamic extremists, mostly from our ally Saudi Arabia, took their own lives using airliners as weapons and destroyed the World Trade Center. Although Iraq and Afghanistan had no part in the attack, we were soon at war in both countries.

The wars continue and the hatred for U.S. policies in the Middle East will not end in our lifetime. Will our wounded warriors soon be coming home from Iran?

Gerard Bourgeois


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