On good authority I pass along to you a judgement of the people of the Middle East: America raped the Arab world, and the offspring is ISIS.
Barack Obama saw it coming.
Listen to his prescient 2002 speech, delivered months before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, when he was an Illinois state legislator:
“I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. …
“But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States or to his neighbors. …
“I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than the best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.”
I invite you to imagine yourself a small Iraqi child—say a boy of five or six years—as U.S. war planes first roar overhead, U.S. tanks clank and rumble through your village, and American troops hurry through on their way to Baghdad.
Now, fourteen years later, it is 2016, and you (as that former Iraqi child) have grown into young manhood while watching Americans kill and maim literally hundreds of thousands of your civilian countrymen—perhaps one or both of your parents, perhaps one or more of your sisters and brothers, perhaps members of your extended family tribe, almost certainly friends and other villagers you had known.
That scenario serves as one answer to a question you might have heard, and that I heard, again, just yesterday from an acquaintance who was reacting to last month’s bombing in Brussels: