It was the attempted introduction of democracy into Iraq that actually caused the present day phenomenon of Isis. The invasion took away the top power layer of Iraq — namely Saddam Hussein and his secular Baath Party — leaving Sunnis, Shias and Kurds, the Sunnis being senior in the hierarchy. For safety, fearing Sunni oppression, most Kurdish families in central and southern Iraq fled to the north of the country where they were in a majority and could thus look after themselves.
Immediately after the invasion the Shias, relying on the Americans for safety, immediately resumed their traditional Medieval festivals where we saw hundreds of young men whipping themselves raw with chains of iron. Immediately after that, the Sunnis started unleashing bombs attacks on Shias wherever they could be found in crowds in the market place or in police recruitment queues.
Not long after that the Americans tried to impose democracy via a new constitution so that the Shias could have at least equal political power with the Sunnis. The Sunnis continued their terrorism of Shias, aided for a while with Al Qaeda personnel from Afghanistan. Later on, when that didn’t work out, extremist Sunnis started gathering round Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Thus would never have happened if the Americans had left the Hussein-Baathist-Sunni-Shia hierarchy alone. Previously, this was never preventing the more intelligent Shias finding their way into the professions and scientific work — and a wish to become Westernized — just as the Baathists and Sunnis were already doing. Gradually, he old hierarchy would have changed into a new one depending on ability and democracy of one sort or another could have been introduced by the Iraqis themselves when they were ready for it.
Each one of all cultures believe their own culture to be superior to all others and are almost impossible to change unless it comes from within. Western culture generally — America and Britain in particular — with its painfully acquired quirks, such as one-person-one-vote elections, are as intractable as any other.
In this country we are awaiting next year the Chilcot Equiry Report which has postponed publication year after year giving everybody who will be criticised a fair chance of responding. This delay suggests that, unlike almost all previous major Enquiries carried ou by ex-senior civil servants, this will be an honest report, not a whitewash.
If so, this will justify the opposition of those — at first a minority — against the invasion of Iraq. If so, this will also give a full account of the total fiasco that the American and British armies made of the occupation and which thus led to Isis in due course.