A Chronology of Conflict.

Western Military Intervention in the Middle East/North Africa since 1950



"any attempt by any outside power to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the USA and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force"
- Jimmy Carter, then U.S. President in his State of the Union (1980) address following the Iranian Revolution and the rise to power of the Ayatollah Khomeini.

It is enlightening to consider that the usual enemy of the United States in the region is not "outside powers" but local ones. That the new Iranian regime was fairly hostile to the U.S.S.R., and that the principal outside power with control in the region is the United States.

Furthermore the "vital interests" of who in the "USA"?

The oil corporations. Certainly.

The banks which receive the oil revenues of the Gulf royalty. Certainly.

The arms companies who supply the toy armies of the Gulf royalty. Certainly.

What percentage of the population of the United States own a considerable number of shares in oil corporations, banks or arms companies?

What percentage of that slice of the American population are in, or soon to be in, troop ships or planes on the way to Afghanistan?

What percentage of the United States rank and file infantry on their way to Afghanistan own a considerable number of shares in oil corporations, banks or arms companies?

Who would join the army as a 'grunt' if they had a "vital interest" in the Persian Gulf?

1951 - 1953 Iran

After the election of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq the

Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (A.I.O.C. - a section of what is now British Petroleum) is nationalised. A joint M.I..6./C.I.A. covert action organises a coup d'etat and establishes a autocracy under the monarch Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi. In 1957 his regime establishes a new secret police SAVAK, who are trained by Britain and the United States, as is the Iranian Army. The oil fields are redistributed with some shares returned to A.I.O.C. and others given to different Western companies.

1954 - 1962 Algeria

Vicious colonial war as the French state combats the Algerian independence movement.

1956 Egypt

Following the nationalisation of the Suez canal (previously owned by French and British investors), coupled with moves toward Arab unity and the promotion of nationalist movements, the Egyptian nationalist military dictatorship headed by Nasser is faced with a joint Anglo-French-Israeli invasion. Economic trouble and lack of American support make this a disaster for British imperialism and something of a swansong.

1958 Lebanon/Jordan

American troops land in Lebanon in support of the pro-Western Christian government, after civil disorder was provoked by their rigging of an election. Opposition to Western interests from pro-Nasser Arab nationalists.

Simultaneously British troops are in Jordan, in support of the traditional monarchy, which faces a similar Pro-Nasser nationalist movement to that in Lebanon.

1962 - 1967 Aden/Yemen

Insurgency in the British colony of Aden, in the western corner of the Arabian peninsula, at the gate of the Red Sea. Arab nationalists fight British rule, while their cohorts over the border in Yemen fought a campaign against a British friendly hereditary ruler, who had the support of British mercenaries.

1962 - 1976 Oman

Guerrilla uprising against the Sultans of Oman in the southern province of Oman - Dhofar. Oman units commanded by British officers, also a S.A.S. presence and a mercenary presence.

1975 - 1992 Afghanistan

Afghan Islamic rebels fight Afghan "Communists" and the U.S.S.R. with training from the S.A.S. and arms from the C.I.A. .

1980 Mediterranean

Italian passenger plane shot down over the Mediterranean, with 81 people killed. It is later revealed that it was shot down by a NATO missile. This was possibly a botched attempt to assassinate Libyan military dictator Qaddafi, who was flying in the area at the time.

1983 -1984 Lebanon

British, French and American forces land in Lebanon and act in support of Israel and Israeli backed Christian militias in that country's "Civil War". They are driven out by Hezbollah suicide bombers.

1986 Libya

American bombing of Libya, which in what now appears to be a tradition manages to hit several "targets" including the French embassy.

1987 - 1988 Persian Gulf

In the biggest American naval operation since the Second World War, with support from other NATO states, warships are sent to the Persian Gulf against Iran and in support of Iraq during the first Gulf War. Notable incidents include: An accidental Iraqi attack on an American ship, which cost the lives of 37 sailors and was blamed by President Reagan on "Iranian aggression".

The damaging of an American warship by a mine, presumed to be Iranian, for which the American government retaliated by ordering the destruction of half of the Iranian navy and much of it's offshore oil industry.

The shooting down of a Iranian civilian airliner by an American warship in Iranian waters, with the loss of 290 lives.

1990 - ? Iraq

Second Gulf War, with the massive amount of Iraqi deaths from both bombings and sanctions running into millions.

1993 Somalia

More blood for oil as American troops arrive in Somalia. A bloody fiasco similar to that in the Lebanon.

1998 Afghanistan/Sudan

Cruise missile strikes on supposed "terrorist training camps" in Afghanistan and Sudan. The destruction of a medicines factory in the Sudan, coupled with trade sanctions causes a large secondary death toll as the population is now deprived of medicines.

2001 Afghanistan

The "War on Terrorism" begins with air strikes on Afghanistan.

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