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History As It Happens

Oct 31, 2023

Fifty Octobers ago, Arab oil producers agreed to an embargo against the United States and a handful of other countries, upending American politics and energy policy for years to come. The oil weapon was wielded to punish the U.S. for supporting Israel in the Yom Kippur War, which erupted on Oct. 6, 1973, and lasted for two and a half weeks. Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack in a bid to reclaim territory occupied by Israel since 1967. Today, with Israel at war again and the Palestinian problem still unresolved, would Saudi Arabia or any Arab state unsheath the oil weapon? In this episode, historian Victor McFarland, an expert on oil and U.S.-Middle East relations, contends it's unlikely. The world is a lot different than it was in 1973.