The Persian Gulf: The Iran-Iraq War

Courtesy Reuters

The Iran-Iraq war is now in its fourth year. For those of us in the West, the conflict has had a quality of remoteness for much of its course, an impression brought about in part by the nature of the struggle itself. We feel revulsion at a war that has sent teenagers by the thousands to their deaths against entrenched gun positions, at the use of poison gas which we had hoped the conscience of mankind had abolished as a method of warfare. We have been unable to comprehend fully the ideologies and motivations driving the leaders of these two nations to pursue a conflict that has led to such carnage and cynical disregard for human life. It has been easy-indeed a relief-to put this war out of mind. And besides, we ask, what can anybody do to bring it to an end?

The policymakers of all the major powers

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