Thank God we've got Sydney Morning Herald columnist Waleed Aly around to explain where we went wrong in Iraq and Syria. We'd be all so confused otherwise:
If only Bush hadn't intervened in Iraq:
"Over 11 years ago we entered a war of choice on a pretext that was always dubious and proved ultimately false... the invasion has unleashed forces we simply cannot pretend to have under control." (Middle East meltdown: Blowback from invasion of Iraq unfolds to haunt the West, Waleed Aly, 13/6/14)
If only Obama had intervened in Syria:
"... in Syria, where a ruler every bit as brutal as Saddam Hussein is in the process of enacting mass violence against his own people. This is a ruler who has merrily danced across what Barack Obama declared to be his 'red line' by using chemical weapons* against them. Obama ran an anaemic campaign for military intervention in Syria that went nowhere. These days he regards Syria merely as 'somebody else's civil war'.** We will never know what would have happened had America intervened. But we do know that Bashar al-Assad had free rein to unleash brutal force, thereby radicalising the environment and laying down a magnet for Sunni terrorist groups.**"
Wait a minute!
"Mosul is in terrorist hands because we blew the lid off Iraq..."
So we shouldn't have squished Saddam, right?
"... then refused to help put it back on Syria."
But we should have squished Bashar, yeah?
[*Wrong! See my 8/4/14 post About That Gas Attack in Syria...;** So the Americans, the Turks, the Saudis and the Gulf monarchs had absolutely no hand in "unleash[ing] brutal force, thereby radicalising the environment and laying down a magnet for Sunni terrorist groups," just Bashar?]