The US instigated the Iran-Iraq war to counter Khomeini a year after he came to power. With the elite Iraqi forces busy on the home front fighting insurgents, several hundred thousand Egyptians entered Iraq. Saddam gave them rights equal to those of citizens and drew many Egyptians into the army at high wages. Tens of thousands of Egyptians died in the Iran-Iraq war. The US implores Syria and Iran for their cooperation in the Iraqi war, but it is Egypt that exerts the largest influence on Iraq.

Iran floods Iraq with Shiites to create demographic pressure and tip the elections. The Saudis, afraid of Saddam, influenced Bush to overthrow him. Now Saudis aid Sunni militia as much as Iran aids the Shiites. A Shiite Iraq is Saudi Arabia’s nightmare because it will energize the latent Shia majority in the Saudi oil regions. Iran staged many provocations in Saudi Arabia, sending huge numbers of pilgrims to Mecca to bug the Sunnis. Iran aims to bring down the Saudi monarchy in favor of Iranian-style democracy. Syria accepts Iranian protection but aids Iraqi Sunnis, not the Shiites. In Lebanon, Syria helped Christians, Shiites, and Druze. Pro-Syrian Shiite Hezbollah doesn’t want a civil war, but Saniora is pushing it against the wall to make the US interfere. Syria, like Saudi Arabia, needs a civil war in Iraq to distract the US from changing the Syrian regime. Syrian intelligence stirs up various Iraqi factions. Kuwait wants Iraq embroiled in civil war rather than planning against its historical subject, Kuwait. Iran needs that war to prevent the prospect of American invasion. Israel assists the Kurds to obtain a beachhead for a possible confrontation with Iran and Iraq. The Kurds don’t want a strong Iraq because it will deprive them of oil revenues. Turkey doesn’t want a strong Iraq, which kills Kurdish separatists, stirring discontent among Turkey’s Kurds. Neither does Turkey want a weak Iraq, which would allow Kurdish independence, again agitating Kurdish separatists in Turkey. Oil corporations clap their hands and line their pockets from the war in Iraq, which drives up oil prices and profits.
American military industries, which have been cash-starved since the end of the Cold War, needed the major procurement push resulting from the Iraqi war. American neocons want action against a rogue Muslim state. Iraq is a continuation of US domestic policy: the purposeless war is meant to fool the voters into thinking that the government is fighting terrorism while Pakistan, North Korea, and Iran develop nuclear weapons unhindered. America similarly covered its political errors with others’ lives in Lebanon (Israel invaded it after the US-sponsored democratic elections brought Hezbollah to power) and Palestine (America pushed for transparency and then prompted Fatah to fight democratically elected Hamas).

The Lebanese civil war was settled through the expulsion of militant Palestinians and exhaustion once Israel abandoned SLA and Syria reduced its financing of the warring factions. Iraqi factions are well financed from abroad. Lebanon has a history of balancing Sunnis, Shia, and Christians in an intricate power-sharing arrangement. Iraq historically suppressed those factions, each of whom are now advancing demands for power and economic gains. The Iraqi insurgency would be relatively easy to crush through wide-scale repressions against the supportive population, but liberal Americans don’t want to allow that. The Iraqi army was weak; it suffered defeats from the Kurds before Saddam. Now, with the commanders dead or in hiding, it would take years to build an army capable of crushing the insurgency.

Every power in the Middle East has an interest in continuing the Iraqi war, and who cares about the people?

a good war