Things Fall Apart

Events in Iraq over the last week have "boulversed" the Iraqis, the U.S., the Iranians, the Turks, and the whole Middle East. Attacks by the ISIS succeeded in capturing Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, along with other smaller cities to the south. Fears that Baghdad would fall seem to have abated for the moment. In the meantime, several items of historical interest have emerged:

  • Will Sykes-Picot be overturned? The French-English 1916 agreement to draw ME boundaries created Iraq. Is it time for colonial borders to be redrawn?
  • Who was responsible for disbanding the Iraqi army and civil service in 2003? Condolezza Rice? Paul Bremer? The Neocons? G.W. Bush? And who will be held responsible? Obama?
  • Were VP Joseph Biden and Envoy Peter Galbraith correct in calling for the break-up of Iraq during the 2006 civil war?
  • Will the U.S. and Iran mend fences and go to work to stave off another Iraqi civil war?
  • Will the Neocons reemerge as America's foreign policy gurus? See this NYTimes puff piece on Robert Kagan, who comes out in favor of Hillary Clinton.
  • Will Obama keep his cool?

Margaret O’Brien Steinfels is a former editor of Commonweal. 

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