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Of all the Arab countries today that suffer violence or enjoy a superficial calm on the surface, Iraq is the saddest in my view, because of what it has not become in the last decade since the downfall of the hard and vicious Baathist regime.It is painful, but necessary, to read about the failures of contemporary Iraq if we are ever to come to grips with the reasons why we have watched one Arab country after another self-destruct into national incoherence and chaos.The title mentions the main indigenous forces that have left Iraq in such disarray, though Iraqis should have taken charge of their own destiny as foreign troops departed, and several local and national elections were held.The most damning accounts are those describing the incompetence of the combined work of the American-dominated transitional authority that ruled Iraq after 2003 and the exiled Iraqi elite – both pro-Western and pro-Iranian – that returned to the country and assumed political power.
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