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17 9, 11:57am
“TL;DR we are to blame for a lot of this mess because Bush booted Saddam after supporting him for decades, creating a power vacuum.”
Almost: Bush booted Saddam, then didn't send in a real occupying force to keep order, then didn't start a Marshall-Plan for Iraq to rebuild it.
Everyone forgets just how many forces stayed in Europe after WW2, and how long, in order to maintain order. Everyone forgets what was involved in the Marshall-Plan. That's *why* you don't just go in guns-a-blazin: it's expensive, laborious, and time-consuming.
[BTW - I do agree with everything you said. I'm just adding in my own $0.02. ;) ]