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The Bush and Blair Folly in Iraq

Chatham House, the respectable London think tank, concluded in August 2006: “The greatest problem facing the U.S. is that Iran has superseded it as the most influential power in Iraq”.

It was inevitable that the 2003 occupation of Iraq would hand Southern Iraq and the Baghdad government to Tehran regardless of whether the U.S. increased the level of its military power in Iraq or withdrew completely (as it did in December 2011); whether the Democrats or the Republicans control the White House and/or Capitol Hill, and regardless of whether Iraq emerges from the chaos created by the occupation as a single entity, a federal republic, or broken-up into three states.

The occupation of Iraq opened the gates of hell in the Middle East and the Muslim world. It has set in motion events that make it difficult to predict how lifting the lid on Iraq’s sectarian and ethnic tensions could lead to anything but to Iranian domination over Iraq, to Shiite emboldenment everywhere, and to endless long-term Shiite/Sunni conflicts spilling rivers of blood and breeding hoards of jihadists in the East and the West until the Sunni leaders in the region would either accept Iran’s hegemony or succeed in stopping the march of Shiism.

Western inaction since the start of the March 2011 popular revolution in Syria allowed the Asad regime to transform a peaceful uprising against tyranny into a regional existential conflagration between Alawites and Shi'ites from Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah, on one hand, and Sunnis, on the other. It deepened the enmity between Shi’ites and Sunnis and sharpened their fighting capabilities, particularly ISIS.

The American excuse to starve the Syrian revolution of effective weapons for fear of falling into the hands of terrorists was turned on its head when ISIS captured from the Iraqi army in Mosul a huge inventory of sophisticated American weapons, along with a few hundred million dollars.
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