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A strategic own goal?

Western intervention in Iraq has widened the old schisms of the Middle East

By Robert Fry   May 2012

US troops leaving Iraq, December 2011: western military activity has unwittingly altered the balance of power throughout the region

On New Year’s Day Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, addressed the nation on television. In a reflective mood, he said: “Any successful person has his enemies; the righteous have their opponents…and every Hussein has his Yazid.” He was entirely confident that his allusion to seventh century history would be understood, and rightly so. The death of Hussein ibn Ali, the Shia martyr and grandson of the prophet Muhammad, at the hands of Yazid, the founder of the Sunni Umayad dynasty,…

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