Asked if a civil war was developing there, Burns said, “It’s always been a civil war,” adding that it’s just a matter of extent. He said the current U.S. leaders there–military and diplomatic–were doing there best but sectarian differences would “probably” doom the enterprise.
Burns said that he and others underestimated this problem, feeling for a long time that toppling Saddam Hussein would almost inevitably lead to something much better.
I was talking to a believer last week, who said to understand our invasion of Iraq you need to look at a Risk game board. Iraq is “the key to the Middle East” and pins Iran between itself and Afghanistan. So you have Iran surrounded, and bases in the middle of the region. Etc.
Reality is so damn inconvenient. You get the whole thing mapped out according to a board game you played a lot in college, and it all looks like a winning strategy. So you finally get control of the government, and want to show how good a Risk player you are, so you invade Iraq.
…and then these darn things that never came up in the board game start happening and just mess everything UP for you. Like private sectarian militias – where are THEY in the board game, anyway?! And civil wars! There’s no civil wars in Risk! And IEDs. And car bombs in the middle of crowds of police recruits. And you don’t even NEED body armor in Risk. And post-traumatic stress disorder. And dead children. And the smell of burning flesh. And needing another $100 bilion dollars that you have to borrow from the Chinese. And not having enough troops so you have to call up the National Guard and keep them oversees for an extra year.
These people just don’t understand the GAME!