This Daily Mail reader offered a very interesting and concise perspective on what's currently going on in the Middle East. Obviously, everything is a bit jumbled at the moment.
The Islamic State (ISIS) has provided a common enemy for a number of countries, even ones that traditionally despise each another.
This newspaper clipping offers an appropriate explanation for the discombobulated state of affairs at present.
Let's break it down and elaborate a bit on what it says.
At the moment, Iraq as we used to know it is completely split up. The Iraqi government, which is currently an ally of the United States, is rapidly losing territory to the Islamic State. By fighting ISIS, the United States is helping what's left of Iraq.
The United States is also allies with Saudi Arabia. This is somewhat confusing, as Saudi Arabia was one of the earliest funders of ISIS.
The US has characterized ISIS as an abomination for beheading people -- rightfully so. However, the Saudi Arabian government also beheads people quite frequently. You likely won't hear President Obama or Secretary of State Kerry speaking about this, however.
ISIS is also currently fighting against Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Assad's government has been condemned by leaders across the globe, including President Obama. Yet, if the US defeats ISIS, it would basically be doing Assad a favor.
And while Iran has been an enemy of the United States since 1979, it's currently an ally to Assad.
This means that Iran also wants to see ISIS defeated because, if it is, then Assad might have a better chance of staying in power, meaning Iran's regional strength will be upheld. From a traditional standpoint, this goes against American interests.
Iran also supports the Iraqi government's fight against ISIS because both Iran and Iraq are majority Shia countries (the same religious demographic).
Thus, America and Iran are enemies, but they both want to defeat ISIS and both support the Iraqi government, although Iran supports Assad while America wants him gone. If you've gone cross-eyed, don't worry -- it really is that complicated.
Why did all of this happen?
According to the news-clip above,
All this was started by us [America] invading a country to drive out terrorists who weren't actually there until we went in to drive them out.
Simply put, the United States invaded Iraq in 2003 under the false claim that Saddam Hussein's government possessed weapons of mass destruction. These weapons were never found.
The Bush administration also insisted that Saddam Hussein had links with al-Qaeda, which was also proved false. Ironically, Saddam Hussein was once an ally of the United States, only to be supplanted and hunted down by US forces years later.
In the process of invading Iraq, the US dismantled an entire region, causing a power vacuum and a sectarian war. This created the perfect conditions for organizations like ISIS to grow.
By entering Iraq, the US pushed people towards extremism, creating new enemies while disposing of old ones. To make matters worse, thousands of foreign fighters are now flocking to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS.
American involvement in the Middle East creates the illusion of progress and stability while simultaneously driving people towards extremism. This creates long-term problems and continues the vicious cycle of violence and instability.
Thus, it seems that history is doomed to repeat itself because we never seem to learn from it.