Understanding May 1988
The war between Iran and Iraq has been going on for more than seven years, and neither side shows any sign of winning, losing, or quitting. Each side is simply trying to destroy the other, and both sides are succeeding slowly, but at a stiff cost to the remainder of the world. All of the costs of the destroyed oil platforms on both sides, the oil tankers that are bombed or shelled together with their cargos of millions of gallons of oil and the general increase in doing business with countries at war, especially when they are at war with each other must be paid by the neutral countries if they wish to continue to receive their vital supply of oil from either! Also there is the more than one million dollars per day that the U.S. is shelling out just to make the oil lanes safe for trade. (Or so it is supposed, but I have a small suspicion that the military is fed up with Iran and would welcome an excuse to blow it off the map.) Of course all of this cannot help but raise the price of oil as well as raising the specter of a growing war, and a number of nations have tried their hands at stopping it without success. Both sides remain adamant, although Iraq seems the most flexible. Each side demands that the other side capitulate completely before there can be any ceasefire, and this, neither nation is willing to do. Whatever the cost in money, the customer must pay it if he wishes to continue getting oil. The lives must be furnished (mostly) by the countries involved.
As of this writing, neither side has used nuclear weapons, but it can be assumed that both sides are very eager to get a few in hopes of ending the war as victors. If one or the other eventually succeeds in purchasing a few such weapons, and if that happens it will hardly end the war.. It will more likely spread it to the nuclear countries of the world. Then, we will have Armageddon for sure.
The continuing war is thus of considerable concern to the remainder of the world, and naturally it seeks to end it, but since each side is determined to destroy the other, and neither side has yet been able to do so, the war goes on. The situation is reminiscent of the two cats of Kilkenny, who each thought there was one cat too many. “So they fought and they fit and they scratched and they bit, tit, except for their nails, and the tip of their tails, instead of two cats, there weren’t any!”
The world could, of course, end the war at any time, if the merchants of armament were willing to give up that portion of their profit gained by furnishing both Iraq and Iran with the equipment with which they fight. This is not supposed to be going on, but in the flurry of shipment and trans-shipment who but the final recipient knows where the goods went?) As long as no one complains, who cares? Neither country is capable of manufacturing much of this material and if cut off from world supply, both sides would soon decide that an armistice was in order, since, without ammunition, artillery shells and bombs, neither side could greatly damage the other. While it is true that they might continue the war, armed with clubs and stones, (while they may cause considerable pain or even death to each other) they cannot do much damage to Real Estate, especially at a distance.
Daniel W. Fry