Who's to Blame for the Mess in Iraq? by James Zogby | huffingtonpost.com | Posted: 05/23/2015 10:59 am EDT Excerpts: "Despite the prolonged U.S.-led coalition bombing campaign, the so-called "Islamic State" (IS)recently won victories in Iraq expanding the area under its control. In the wake of these advances, fingers of blame have been pointing in every direction. Democrats continue to blame President Bush for beginning the war, in the first place, while Republican candidates are attempting to turn the tables by blaming President Obama for abandoning Iraq. The initial fault for this mess must be placed at the doorstep of the Bush Administration." "They lied us into the war, dismantled Iraq's institutions and then badly mismanaged the occupation, attempting to restructure the country's governance by introducing a dangerously flawed system of sect-based representation. I agreed with the president when he observed that we needed to end the war in Iraq more responsibly than we began it. He inherited not only the war and the occupation, but an agreement his predecessor had negotiated with the Iraqis requiring U.S. forces to leave at the end of 2011." ....... "It's important to recall where we and the Iraqi people were in 2011. In September of that year, I was commissioned to do a poll of Iraqi, Iranian, U.S. and broader Arab public opinion in advance of the U.S. departure. What we sought to learn was how all sides viewed the war and their expectations for Iraq following the U.S. withdrawal. The results were disturbing and foretold the crisis Iraq was to face in the future. Most notable were the deep divisions among Iraq's three major groupings: Sunni Arabs, Shia Arabs and Kurds. In the United States, there was a significant partisan divide." "All these patterns played out in response to almost every question asked in the poll. For example, when we asked "are Iraqis better off or worse off than they were before American forces entered the country?" we found that Iraqis were conflicted, with about one-half of both Shia and Sunni Arabs saying that they were "worse off," while 60 percent of Kurds said they were "better off." On the U.S. side, 58 percent of Republicans said Iraqis were "better off" -- completely disconnected from the reality experienced by most Iraqis. Only 24 percent of Democrats held this view." read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-zogby/whos-to-blame-for-the-mess-in-iraq_b_7427588.html ....... IMO: When you look at the reflections of the Iraqi civilians, the Iraqi soldiers, the American republicans, the American Democrats, and World Opinion, you will surely get 5 different opinions - all different in severity. But actually, the fault lies directly with the Bush Administration because Barack Obama was still in Illinois government when G.W. Bush bypassed Congress and invaded Iraq on March 19, 2003. Iraqis judged their quality of life based on their sects which were political in nature, and Americans based their thoughts on the Iraqi Bush War as political in nature, republicans seeing the war's impact as positive, and Democrats judging the Bush War as having made life worse for Iraqis. Asked how they felt about the U.S. withdrawal, three quarters of Americans said they were happy. But only 22 percent of Iraqis said they were 'happy' with another 35 percent saying they were worried. While a majority of Shia Arabs and Kurds were optimistic, almost two thirds of Sunni Arabs were pessimistic. Six in ten Iraqis wanted a Democracy while another six in ten said that Democracy would not work in their country. What is most disturbing is the degree to which Americans have let politics trump history. The facts of how we got into the Iraq War remains clear, war crimes by Americans have been proven with no justice meted out for the perpetrators, thus no redemption for the American citizens, who will bear the brunt of world opinion in years to come.