- Mar 2012
- New Amsterdam
Also, Underlankers is very much correct that if Bush wouldn't have overthrown Saddam Hussein, then there would have currently been no large-scale ISIS presence in Iraq.
Had the old regime been left in place but the Tikritis (Saddam and his tribal loyalists) been removed or if parts of the old regime had been incorporated into the new government, the ISIS issue wouldn't have happened.
Meanwhile there's the question of where this Sunni radicalism came from. It didn't just emerge from nowhere. Saddam's secular regime had actually been embracing Sunni Islamism, at least rhetorically, in the decade between the Gulf War and the Second Iraq war. Plus the assassination of Sadat by an Islamist had been a symbol to all secularesque dictators of the region: disregard religion at your own risk.
Imagine the Arab spring if Saddam hadn't been removed. He'd have cracked down hard, but in Syria there still would have been a vacuum for Sunni Islamists to carve a fief out of (although ISIS was born in Fallujah). Saddam, given his opposition to the Assad Regime due to it being an ally of his enemy Iran, would have supported the Sunni rebels who largely would be Islamist.
Also Iraq wasn't just Bush's idea. Given that Saddam had been challenging the no fly zone, the Clinton administration had been drawing up war plans before Bush even took office.
Meanwhile had Saddam been removed in 1991 (not even by the US, just have the US no-fly zone extend to Saddam's helicopters as well as planes and he would have been defeated) you wouldn't have had the same level of sectarianism in place.