The scary part is that none of our nation's elites even recognize the rock bottom underlying truth about our involvement in Iraq: no occupied nation has ever been united, except in opposition to the occupier.
The losing side in a civil war always seeks help from abroad. This was true in the time of the Romans and it was probably true in Thucydides's time. An occupier always tries to divide and conquer. And, true to form, the US in Iraq has committed every sin in the historical book.
The French tortured the English for centuries with the threat to sponsor a rival claimant to the English throne. But this comes at a price- the small group or nation can wag the tail of the larger, involving larger nations in wars they really have no interest in.
This is the most common theme in history. Even the coupling of male and female is less certain than this theme, as many a national history will show.
But our elites are totally clueless. The subject is hardly ever mentioned, much less accorded the realization that this dynamic will determine the outcome of what we're doing in Iraq.
I guess we'll have to wait until Iraq becomes history before we can learn this lesson- again.