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The TerryReport

Republicans, neo-cons, militarists and those who always say attack first, worry later are piling on Obama for the billowing mess in Iraq. He made the mistake of taking troops out, they say. He made the mistake of not getting involved in the civil war in Syria. He projects weakness instead of sending in bombers and troops wherever there is trouble in the world.

Is this true? Some of it might be, but lets consider, too, that going into Iraq in the first place in 2003 opened a can of worms, the worms all crawled out and they are causing trouble across the middle east. John Cassidy, writing in The New Yorker, had this take on the long chain of events that led to the disastrous rebellion going on now in Iraq:

If, in the aftermath of 9/11, President George W. Bush had treated the arguments of Feith, McCain, and other advocates of the Iraq War with the disdain they deserved, we (and the Iraqis) wouldnt be where we are today.

If, in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. invasion, Paul Bremer, the American proconsul in Baghdad, and his boss, Donald Rumsfeld, had not decided to disband Saddams army, the one institution that somewhat unified the country, the Iraqi state would be stronger. If, in addition, Bremer and Rumsfeld had ordered enough U.S. troops onto the streets to preserve order, then Iraq might (and its only a might) have held together peacefully instead of degenerating into sectarianism, anarchy, and violence.

If Prime Minister Maliki, whom the United States eventually settled on as its favored Iraqi leader, had made a serious effort to reach out to the Sunnis and the Kurds, rather than acting like a sectarian ward heeler, the departure of U.S. forces might not have created the political stalemate and institutional power vacuum that the jihadis, first in Anbar Province and now in Nineveh and Saladin, have exploited.

None of these things happened, but the greatest mistake was the initial one. In invading Iraq and toppling Saddam, the Bush Administration opened Pandoras Box.

Add this: anyone with half a brain and a couple of semesters of study of middle eastern history and culture KNEW that we would be opening Pandoras Box, which is one reason that G.W. Bushs father, G. H.W. Bush, did not allow the troops to topple Saddam in the first Gulf War.  The people in that region have been happily fighting with each other for more than five thousand years and there is no reason to believe they will stop anytime soon. The fight now in Iraq is between Muslim brothers, one Islamic sect against another. The Sunnis have been read out of power in Iraq and that means out of jobs and a way to make a living. In some places, that means you apply for unemployment and hope. In the middle east, it means you take up arms. People fight so their ethic group can have power, which means they will have access to government and other jobs, which means they can support their families. In a region where there is little prosperity, capturing what there is becomes all important.

HERE IS THE LINK to the article in The New Yorker

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