I just read the below review of Richard Haass's new book by a Geoffrey Wheatcroft, who suggests that the violence seen in Iraq since 2003 would have happened in 1991 if US troops had entered Baghdad and overthrown Saddam's murderous regime. How does he know this? There was no Al Qaeda in 1991. In fact Usama bin Ladin volunteered to assemble an army of mujahideen to fight Saddam's forces. There would have been no sectarian conflict ignited by the Wahhabi scum. There were no Fedayeen Saddam either. Liberating Iraq would have been much easier in 1991. Easier for the US and its allies and much easier for Iraqis.
'Much of the ground Haass covers is all too familiar by now. He goes over the arguments that America should have pressed on to “liberate Iraq” and destroy Hussein the first time round. As he says, the truth is that “there was no interest in going to Baghdad.” Bush the Elder thought he had a deal with the rest of the world that he would break if he extended the war; American troops would have found themselves engaged in dangerous and difficult fighting in cities; and “we would have become an occupying force in a hostile land with no exit strategy.” It would be superfluous for Haass to add “as later happened under that president’s son.” '
I am amazed by the number of "pundits" who think they know what they're writing about.