Prologue: The Fall of Iraq (1987)
Kiss me goodbye and write me while I'm gone,Hello! This is my first post here - and it's also going to be my first try at an alternate history scenario. I thought this up while reading about Joe Biden himself and got curious that he ran in 1988 for the Presidency, but his campaign failed as he was mired in a plagiarism scandal. Many of us could be, in a way, thankful his campaign failed - perhaps if it hadn't - Biden may not be with us today as he had an intracranial berry aneurysm after which he suffered from pulmonary embolism.
Goodbye my Sweetheart, Hello Tehran.
Goodbye my Sweetheart, Hello Tehran.
It is interesting to think - what would have happened if that of burning out within a few months, Joe Biden either remained untouched by the allegations - perhaps they never appeared, or Biden credited his inspiration correctly - and what if Biden didn't have his medical complications in the late eighties?
There are other PODs involved - which is why the title says "How Reagan Failed The Middle East" - and is a very important POD or should I say, the result of an acclamation of multiple PODs, which we will see in the prologue - although it's probably a very unlikely result, it's interesting to think of.
I'm not sure if this would be plausible in real life - perhaps not. But it is alternate history. I will be open up to all constructive criticism and I will try to take what ideas you guys have into account and I'd also prefer some help. I'm also open up to compliments - and feedback - in general.
In regards to who I am - I'm not sure if it's normal for writers to divulge a bit into themselves - but I'm someone who's still studying and I'm very interested in history and politics. I don't come from the United States or any other English-speaking country, so I'm sorry if my grammar is sloppy at times or if my text doesn't sound good. But I'll be trying. In regard to updates, if there will ever be any demand for them, this is something that will be figured out later as time passes - perhaps a week in between or a month at most, hopefully. I was inspired by some other alternate TLs, touching on the USA - such as "Twists and Turns: An Alternate 1952 and Beyond" by Gentleman Biaggi and
"No Southern Strategy: The Political Ramifications of an Alternate 1964 Election" by Nofix and Gonzo.
Well, let's go on our little trip and I hope you'll enjoy the ride with me.
PROLOGUEThe Iran-Iraq War had already been raging on for around six years, ready to approach it's seven-year anniversary in September, 1987. However, the war would conclude earlier than that. Following a brutal struggle between the two armies, Iran eked out a decisive, yet pyrrhic victory in the home of Babylon. In the near hours, the news echoed throughout the world and caused many to worry especially in the USA and the Reagan Administration. President Reagan had once decided that the United States would do "whatever was necessary to prevent Iraq from losing."
Saddam attacked Iran in 1980 hoping for a cakewalk to take Khuzestan and to establish dominance for Iraq as the leading power of the Arab world replacing Egypt. The Iraqis were confident that their victory would be swift over the seemingly disunited country of Iran. The Iranian Revolution of 1979 and it's subsequent Islamic government had resulted in the Iranian army being crippled by purge and desertion, while sanctions battered the Iranians even further. The Iranians had also seized a US embassy hostage earlier. While it didn't amount to much in the calculations of Iraq, it was clear that the United States or any other country which had provided Iran with equipment in the past would help the Iranians out with weapons. It was very clear that Iran was isolated and alone on the international stage. It was rather clear there would be no working together between secular Iraq and fundamentalist Iran. With territorial disputes and conflict between the two nations reaching a boiling point, it was no surprise that in September 1980 the Iraqis crossed the border to neuter Iran and to claim their position as the dominant Arab state.
Except it didn't work out that way.
By 1981 Iran was not on the backfoot anymore and the invasion had stalled. In 1982, the Iranians forced the Iraqis into retreat and liberated Khorramshahr in May. Already by 1986, the Iraqis were at risk of losing the war altogether after Iran was able to muster it's whole military capacity and population advantages.
It would be the Karbala operations which would be the beginning of the end for Iraq. Following Karbala-4 in December, Karbala-5 was a catastrophe for the Iraqis as they conceded Basra to Iran after offensives shattered Iraqi resistance despite all the odds. Within a month, Iraq was cut off from it's only connection to the sea after capturing Umm Qasr - Iran seemed to be on an unbreakable winning streak. By the mid of 1986, during Operation Zafar 7, Suleimaniya was taken by Iran with the help of the Peshmerga.
The Battle of Baghdad, occurring in March was the result of Operation Ramadan 2, with the name of it's predecessor which was a failure on the half of Iran. With military setbacks and conflict, Iraq was losing as it's generals were often executed for failure by Saddam or either battles lost as Saddam tended to intervene. Gas attacks did not deter the Iranian armies which were on a large morale booster - it seemed the war would truly be an Iranian victory. On March 2nd, the Battle of Baghdad began and after three weeks, nearly a month of fighting, Iran won and Baghdad had fell. Saddam had attempted to escape during the battle, realizing that it was lost, but was captured by Iranian soldiers and promptly executed. The Iran-Iraq War was the one Iran would win.
While many historians debate what would have happened had the war been a stalemate or perhaps if it were a loss by Iran, most agree that it was no surprise that the Democratic Party won the 1988 Presidential election. Voters were already growling from fatigue after eight years of Republican Presidency. It was, however, the fall of Iraq which seemed to give a near-death sentence to the Republican Party. From the primaries to the Presidential debates, the Democratic candidate would disparage the Reagan Presidency for it's what most called his administrations "most massive US foreign policy failure ever". It shouldn't be said that Ronald Reagan didn't attempt to save Iraq, however, despite for many viewing him as a war-hawk, he never edged as close to the issue of going to war with Iran to keep Saddam alive. With Iran winning, oil prices went up and the administration struggled to react to the situation. On the 28th of March, Ronald Reagan informed the American public on the situation in the Middle East, wherein he called the Iranian government despotic and evil, naming them as sponsors of terrorism and encouraged uprising in Iraq, claiming that it would be unfair for the Iraqis to live under the "puppets of the Iranian Ayatollah". Many liked to pick at Reagan for the irony of his statements - considering his administrations' involvement in the Iran-Contra Affair, wouldn't it be safe to assume that his own administration indirectly aided the victory of Iran and supported their terrorist activities?
Iraq had fallen, Iran had won. The picture was clear: Reagan messed up greatly, perhaps even more than his predecessor Jimmy Carter who lost to Reagan just seven years ago. Mired in scandal and foreign policy failure, it was clear that the Democratic Party would have a real chance of clenching the Presidency in 1988.