Bad policies, bad outcomes: We started much of this and can’t extricate ourselves. This is how we got here
This is not, as much as anyone might insist, a civil war within Islam. This is no crude contest between the new and the old, the modern and the ancient. The truth is a lot messier than that. What we face in ISIS is the consequence of multiple conflicts, many of which we have started, involved ourselves in, or cannot extricate ourselves from. We may have reached the terminal endpoint of a failed foreign policy.
One thing I’m pretty sure about: The American destruction of Iraq will go down in history as one of the most arrogant, ignorant, blundering and thuggish invasions ever carried out. For sheer incompetence, America was Number One, bar None! At EVERY step of the way the Bush gang, guided by neocon dickheads (who KNEW they were rights), unerringly made the absolute worst and most brainless decision possible to make, bringing the heaviest possible costs to America and its’ hapless allies, unbearable suffering to the Sunni civilians and with zero gain for anyone other than the jihadis and the arms manufacturers. (And the last one is probably all the elected officials cared about since they had to get defense contracts and bring jobs home to their state).
Though in all fairness, America would NEVER have committed this savage witless monstrosity had it been governed by Democrats during the first decade of the 21st centuiry. The Dems were too weak and cowardly to stand up to the Right-Wing thugs and resist the invasion, but they would never have proposed the invasion by themselves. They simply went along with the right-wing brutes, grumbling and protesting a lot of the time, but they still went along.