since the second Bush Administration oversaw the first formation of a democratic government in Baghdad, ostensibly “created” by the presence of US troops that had entered Iraq.
This was supposedly to remove Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, and so the proxy war between the US and its self-proclaimed “axis of evil” began.
And then it was revealed that the intelligence was false, there were no weapons of mass destruction that we could actually find, and the Iraqi state itself was only held together by terror and fear, not a genuine love of country.
Since Iraq was one of the many Middle-Eastern nations literally cobbled together after World War I by the British and French colonial empires, the “Iraqis” were actually Kurds, Sunnis, Shias, and other smaller ethnic groups such as the Bedouin tribesmen.
Hussein kept the whole thing more or less stuck together under his dictatorship, but when we came in, deposed him, and tried to get the ball rolling for democratic elections, the whole thing fell apart.
Extremist adherents of Islam, who hadn’t even been in the relatively secular nation originally, started flooding in from Afghanistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Iran, and we found ourselves in the middle of a sectarian war.
Thanks to President Obama, America got out of the mess in 2011, leaving a relatively stable government in place with what we thought was an effective federal Iraqi Army, staffed with some lower-level lieutenants from the Hussein regime.
“Extremist adherents of Islam, who hadn’t even been in the relatively secular nation originally, started flooding in…”
Patting ourselves on the back, we foolishly believed that we, the high and mighty United States of America, had single handedly solved generations of ethnic and religious strife, enabling us to walk away and pursue a “reset” with Russia under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Neither one of these lofty aspirations proved true.
We are essentially waging a new Cold War against the Putin regime at this point, and Iraq has separated into essentially three different nations.
In the north near Turkey, the Kurdish region is close to full autonomy at this point; in the south, the weakened central Iraqi government mostly consists of Shiite technocrats backed by neighboring Iran; in the east, the remains of ISIS and Al-Qaeda still control large portions of the arid desert.
How did this mess start in the first place, anyhow?
A certain amount of blame has to lie with the American voter.
By blindly supporting neoliberalism through the 1990’s and the early 2000s, we elected politicians who were too beholden to the military-industrial complex to do much of anything to stop the drumbeats of war.
The pattern still continues, though.
Neoliberal Joe Biden is on the top of a large field of candidates to become the next Democratic nominee for president in the 2020 presidential primaries at the moment, despite his recent mind-numbing comments on race.
The only way to stop this from happening again is if we, the new millennial generation, actually get involved in politics and make our voices heard.
Biden isn’t the candidate for modern America.
Only Bernie Sanders has established foreign policy credibility that will keep us out of another mess in Mesopotamia.