In an interview to be screened tomorrow on CNN Tony Blair more or less confesses that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a mistake and may have been the principal cause of the rise of present-day Isil terrorism in Syria.
Saddam Hussein may have been a nasty piece of goods but at least he and his Baathist Party was pacifying the mutual antipathy between Sunnis and Shias. People had 24 hours of electricity in his day and people could walk the streets in the evenings in safety. A middle class of professionals in science, medicine, law and others sectors was becoming gradually established in Iraq, moving the country to the necessary secular culture that modern consumers prefer. Instead, the country has been set back at least 50 years and more like 100.
The same applies to Bashar al-Assad in Syria. For some inexplicable reason, Obama also took against Assad and his secular Baathist government and thus virtually invited Isil to switch from Iraq to Syria as their main centre of operations — and very successfully so far. Thank fully, the Russian have brought some rationality into Syrian policy making by Obama and both of the big powers can now finish off Isil between them.