The mother of all wars: What happened when Saddam coined that phrase

0
1331
Photo Credit: Video grab of Iranian soldiers during the Iran-Iraq war

The Iranian President spoke about the ‘mother of all wars, a phrase once used as a warning from a defunct President against the United States.

In 2003, the Iraqi President Saddam Hussein warned the US of a terrible war if the Americans invaded his country.

But the Iranian’s warning to the US may now the motive for President Donald Trump to go to war with Iran and show his mettle as the commander in chief o America.

While the US might thump the Iranians into submission if such a war were to happen, it is also certain it will be a different story from the Iraq war waged by the US and its allies.

In 2003, the US and Britain decided to illegally invade Iraq to remove Saddam Husein from power. For the US it was a game of regime change and the taking control of Iraqi resources, in particular, oil and gas.

Irked and angered by the US plans for a massive invasion of his country, Saddam coined the phrase ‘The mother of all wars’ and threatened the US military with a thunderous defeat.

The war happened, Saddam was removed and later executed and the US won the mother of all wars.

Though there is no war cries between the US and Iran at the moment the two parties are at threats and warnings coming from the leaders.

However, a new mother of all wars risks being something else this time. Iran is not Iraq. The geopolitics between the two nations are different.

In 2003, Iraq was a sorely divided nation, impoverished by the sanctions against the Saddam regime that weakened its military altogether.

The country’s geopolitical landscape was also an advantage to the US and Washington used these factors in its favour.

Iraq was run by a Sunni minority tribe while the Shia tribes – the majority populace of the country – were mostly against Saddam’s rule.

Iraq’s situation was similar to the Syrian war but the Syrian regime benefited from both the Iranian and Russian support. Thus it became difficult for the US to march in and destroy the Bashar Al Assad regime.

In Iraq at that time, there were the Christian groups that were divided in their support for the dictator, and needless to say that among the Sunnis there were the pro-Al-Qaeda groups and the pro-Saddam groups.

With this as backdrop Iraq was merely chicken feed for the US.

But what about Iran, the largest and most powerful Shia nation on earth?

Iran’s geopolitical composition is one thing that would play in its favour – a bit similar to the Vietnamese war. The Iranians are more determined to defend their territory than were the Iraqis, divided as they were.

The Americans might find it tougher to fight off the Iranians with the united front they will put up in the face of such a threat.

Before any invasion or attacks on Iran, the US will heavily play the sanctions cards, but in the past, such sanctions did not cause the Iranians to falter.

There will also be attempts at disrupting the peace in the country with anti-government protests. But in the face of an impending attack and invasion by the US, the Iranians would probably be united against the ‘great Satan’.

While Saddam’s army was already on the brink of total failure, the Iranians have a better set-up and they are more industrious in their designs and repairs of their existing weapons.

They also have numerous fanatics who would die – as in suicide bombers – for their country.

During the eight years long Iran-Iraq war (1980-1988), young Iranians were used as suicide bombers against the advancing Iraqi army.

They rode motobikes armed with bombs while the riders were strapped with suicide vests to run themselves under advancing Iraqi jeeps and tanks.

This caused much damage to Saddam’s forces. It contributed largely to the status-quo in the war.

Iran has prepared a number of suicide-boats in the Persian Gulf. This will be handy to stem a quick American run in the waters.

This will be one of the ways Iran will deal its blows to the Americans. It will also have the support of many groups across the Middle East, including the Hizbollah from Lebanon.

It will not be an easy task for the Americans to win the next ‘mother of all wars’, though, on paper, they might just come out victorious but at what price?

Leave a comment