Last week huge explosions killed nearly 100 people in the Green Zone, apparently Baghdad’s safest place, coming close to destroying the foreign affairs ministry.
In Iraq more than any other place, people have come to live with the constant threat of terrorism for the better part of the last decade, but for what reason?
It is not a secret than Iraq’s can of worms began with president George Bush junior’s infamous effort to rid Saddam Hussein of supposed weapons of mass destruction which years later have never been found.
In fact President Bush goes down with the dubious distinction of having unleashed havoc on Iraqis, but when all is said and done, perhaps his decision to remove Saddam is not completely to blame for the insurgency that has wrecked that country, but for his lack of foresightedness.
When the United States took on a solitary aim for attacking Iraq even without the support of the Security Council, it obviously invited trouble.
But in principle anyone who wanted to rid Iraq of Saddam Hussein was essentially trying to do the right thing, as the enthusiastic support that the US obtained when it helped repulse Saddam’s attack on Kuwait during the gulf war.
The Saddam Hussein regime was essentially dictatorial and anyone who helped the Iraqi people to remove the heavy burden of a leader who only remembered to invoke the name of Allah when he was in trouble, would have been welcome.
So where did Bush go wrong. For starters, the real intention for attacking Iraq was never weapons of mass destruction but could have been the lust for oil, the desire to revenge his father’s humiliation by the same man, or even the aim to eliminate a safe haven for al Qaeda, depending on who you want to believe.
That abuse of trust that world leaders understood in his shady intentions was the problem in itself. To want to rid a bad man from Iraq was not a bad idea but for selfish reasons that had nothing to do with the nations that Bush sought for support was his cardinal sin.
The “shock and awe” campaign appeared to be shockingly effective in decapitating the Saddam regime in days. No wonder the Commander in Chief was quick to declare victory.
The truth is that the US army was victorious but hat is where the controversy should begin.
Was the resultant insurgent campaign a continuation of the war against the US army or was it a brand new war to challenge and embarrass the supposed US victory.
The biggest mistake that the Bush administration committed was not to plan beyond a victory in the battlefield.
Iraq, despite the sad Saddam years comes from a long history of civilization, a strong culture, a community that had been existent for long, a proud Arab culture.
So in way for Bush to have thought that it was possible to supplant what existed with a western style democracy like the snap of a finger was foolish to say the least of a superpower president.
Again the assumption that Al Qaeda went to Iraq because the US removed the Saddam Regime is also a fallacy.
After the embarrassing way in which the Taliban and Al Qaeda and their leaders Mullah Omar and Osama bin laden had been driven into hiding, Al Qaeda was spoiling for a fight and the leadership vacuum in Baghdad after the fall of Saddam provided the best opportunity to rejuvenate the anti-American struggle. So the reason why the United Nations Security Council opposed the unilateral attack of Iraq by the US was not because they though that al Qaeda was going to wreck havoc on Iraq?
Nobody expected Al Qaeda to move to Iraq, even though Bush and his cohorts were claiming that Iraq was al ready their safe haven.
Instead Bush created a safe haven for Al Qaeda by ousting Saddam without a proper locally owned leadership takeover. Al Qaeda did not dream of taking over Iraq and forming an administration?
Instead Al Qaeda sought to hit the US hard, inflict damage on its nemesis and in the moment of rage, many baathists, angry with their ouster, found a forum to express their rage.
It is not surprise that Iraq’s political arena is now flooding back to Sunni, Shia and Kurd outlook. An Iraq democracy has to grow from the communities that exist today, especially when the best security that anyone can have it to have one of their own in an influential position.
Iraq may yet shrug the threat of insurgency and become a pillar of democracy in the Middle East, but Al Qaeda, beyond staging dramatic bombings will remain a roguish terrorist organization.
Their ideals will not prosper in a free and democratic society but only in a place where fear reigns.
Their Iraq experiment will be remembered for its horrendous effect but it will not add to its profile as a serious player in the region.
Al Qaeda was lucky that, the Bush administration gave them an opportunity to flourish, for without the silly gamble to attack Iraq, the chaos may have never spread to that country.
And that, perhaps, in the true legacy of George Bush junior in Iraq.
His misguide policy to remove Saddam haphazardly may have been ill thought, but his inability to plan adequately for post-Saddam Iraq is his biggest error as the world’s most powerful man.
Unfortunately, it is ordinary Iraqis who have born the cost of that error.