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The Lasting Damage of Iraq

MADRID – The folding of the American flag in Iraq amid a collapse of public security and a severe crisis in the country’s fragile political order seals a tragic chapter in the history of the United States. It marked the denouement of one of the clearest cases ever of the imperial overreach that former US Senator William Fulbright called the “arrogance of power.”

Violently torn by religious and ethnic rivalries, Iraq is in no condition to play its part in America’s vision of an Arab wall of containment of Iran. Unless the Iranian regime is terminally humbled in the course of its showdown with the West over its nuclear program, the more plausible scenario is that Shia-dominated Iraq moves closer to Iran’s strategic orbit rather than become part of America's regional designs.