This is a visualization of the frequency of the words 'iran' and 'iraq' in New York Times articles since 1981.
This visualization reads like a clock. You can see the Iran Contra Affair at about 2:30. The first gulf war is at about 4pm. The second Iraq invasion is the biggest spike starting at about 9:30, continuing up until the current day (midnight).
Interestingy, Iran (in red) shows a large increase in activity in the months leading up to the end of 2008.
Built in Processing (http://www.processing.org)