Stephen Zunes discusses the catastrophic mistake of the U.S. plan to invade Iraq, then “divide and rule” along sectarian lines. Zunes says that although the relationship between Iran and the Iraqi Shiite government is a problem for those who worry about Iranian influence in the Middle East, the irony that everyone seems to have forgotten is that it was the Bush Administration that overthrew the Sunni government there in the first place, essentially fighting against Saddam Hussein on behalf of Iran. Moreover, the only real threat from Iran is to the American soldiers who are there on foreign soil fighting a war we started. We would be far better off if we had just stayed away, a message that Zunes says nearly every Middle East scholar in America could have told you in 2001.
Discussed on the show:
- “Today’s US-Iran Crisis Is Rooted in the Decision to Invade Iraq” (Truthout)
- “US seeking to carve out Sunni state as its influence in Iraq wanes” (Middle East Eye)
- “US Commander: Troops in Iraq Face More Threats From Shi’ites Than ISIS” (News From Antiwar.com)
Stephen Zunes is a professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco. He is the author of Western Sahara: War, Nationalism, and Conflict Irresolution and Civil Resistance Against Coups: A Comparative and Historical Perspective. Find him on Twitter @SZunes.
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