Feature

The price of meddling in the Mideast

To blame the Obama administration for the loss of Iraq betrays a continuing misunderstanding of “the very deep nature of the conflict”

Fareed ZakariaThe Washington Post

Did the Obama administration lose Iraq? asked Fareed Zakaria. A host of Bush administration officials and neocons are now blaming the fall of Fallujah and Ramadi to Islamic terrorists on Obama’s failure to keep thousands of American troops there. This argument betrays a continuing misunderstanding of “the very deep nature of the conflict.” In fact, “if a single action accelerated the sectarian conflicts” in the region, it was George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq, take power from Sunni Muslims, and hand it to their rival Shiites. That choice ignited a bitter sectarian religious conflict in Iraq that’s spread like a contagion throughout the Islamic world, as Sunnis, Shiites, and Islamic radicals battle for control and domination. Egypt has seesawed between Islamic and military dictatorships, Syria has devolved into bloody anarchy, and in Iraq, the oppressed Shiites are now the oppressors, with radicalized Sunnis waging civil war. Those insisting that more American military force will solve these problems are delusional. Instead, our renewed meddling in conflicts with deep historical and sectarian roots would “only add fuel to the fires.”

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