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Mideast's Turmoil, Terror Rooted in '73 Oil-Price Spike

Simon Henderson

Also available in العربية

The Hill

February 13, 2018

If princes and commentators want to make political points with history, historians should debate the merits of what is being said.

According to the prevailing wisdom, 1979 was the turning point in the Middle East. The current fixation with that year is because Saudi Arabia's effective ruler, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, sees it as the date when Saudi Islam became extremist. I have an issue with whether Islam in the kingdom was ever moderate, but my bigger doubt is whether focusing on 1979 is misleading in historical terms. I think 1973 is more significant, not because of the October war when Israel was attacked by Egypt and Syria, but its consequence: a fourfold increase in oil prices...

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