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Iraq: 49 steps to failure in one crazy chart

How the US war in Iraq created an Al Qaeda haven where there once was none.

Here's the short version: The United States invaded Iraq in 2003, claiming that Saddam Hussein had both weapons of mass destruction and connections to Al Qaeda. He had neither.

Today, though, one of those justifications has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Al Qaeda in Iraq now exists, and it is as strong as ever. US officials themselves say they are increasingly worried about the terror group's renewed power in Iraq, especially after an elaborate jailbreak at Abu Ghraib prison (remember Abu Ghraib?) freed hundreds of people, including senior members of Al Qaeda, last year.

More recently, major battles erupted between Al Qaeda-linked militants and government forces in Fallujah (remember that place?). As of Jan. 3, Al Qaeda was in control of the city.

So how did the United States manage to create this violent and intractable problem? In just 49 simple steps.

Click to enlarge.

Iraq: Failure in 49 steps
See more graphics GlobalPost.

James Marlin More than 1 year ago
I'm sure many Americans still wonder what they've done that so many muslims shout "death to America" and burn the US flag. Well the chart only shows one of the cluster f#cks that the US government has committed in the middle east. The US policy in the middle east is so ham handed that they destroy the very countries they're liberating from tyranny. Then the people look at the state their countries in and ask "who do we blame?" Well it's pretty obvious to them, and it should be to any others with half a brain. The US is not the guardian of democracy, nor is it promoting freedom and the American way of life. It's a idiot bull in a china shop, that does whatever it feels like doing, which is most often protecting the interests of American based multinationals, and they just create more and more anti American sentiment as they do it. The middle east "problem" is going to be one our great grandchildren will still be wrestling with if the world can even survive to that point. This world was so much better off when the US had an isolationist policy, but the cat is out of that bag. We're pretty much f#cked I guess.
roger 9 months ago
How about 1 Step to failure ?? Simply Invade the wrong country in a vain attempt to get even for your father's deeds ?? IMHO= the most dumb thing we have done for over 200 years as a nation, and all 1 POTUS' fault...RS.
Barry Foltos 9 months ago
No the most dumb thing we have done for over 200 years as a nation is re-elect Obama and let him fail for 4 more years. The logic of your attempt to share Obama's failure is to dissemble the fact of his diplomatic failure to get a status of forces agreement and thus turn the nation over to the Shia with direct links to Iran. Now the Sunni are fighting back by breathing new life into Al Qaeda. Is like I build a bridge and turn it over to you to take care of. Only you don't and now corrosion and neglect has caused the bridge to collapse. Try to blame the engineer who selected the location and designed the bridge, try to blame the construction crew who put the bridge together, but during your time of responsibility you fail to do your job, its your disaster. Obama and the Democrats want to wear the big boy pants and be in charge, they can be responsible for the catastrophes that happen on their watch.
Barry Foltos 9 months ago
The authors went a long way to try to spread Obama's failure across three other Presidents. Obama is President now; Al Qaeda is resurging now. That makes it his problem, his responsibility, his fault and predictably his failure.
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