The United States invaded the Levant 15 years ago – but the region’s scorched-earth ideology has kept the fire burning.
A burning mural of Saddam Hussein in Kirkuk on April 11, 2003. (Patrick Barth/Getty Images)
The United States intervened militarily in Iraq in 2003, 15 years ago this month, and the result was war and chaos. But the United States did not intervene in Syria in 2011 when the regime there was challenged, and the result was still war and chaos. Though the media has interpreted the past decade and a half of armed conflict in the Levant exclusively through the failure of U.S. policy, the fact that the policy in Syria was 180-degrees different from the one in Iraq and yet the result was the same indicates that there has to be a deeper, more fundamental force at work in both countries that journalists and historians must acknowledge.
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Baathism Caused the Chaos in Iraq and Syria. BY ROBERT D. KAPLAN