Steven Clemons (a friend of a friend to whose expertise I defer when teaching Middle Eastern politics to America's youth) has an entry on his blog called "What Will the Blowback from Iraq Look Like in the Decades to Come?"

Quoting a report from the Federation of American Scientists: "It is estimated that in total (including those displaced prior to the war) there may be two million Iraqi refugees who have fled to Jordan, Syria, and other neighboring states, and approximately two million Iraqis who have been displaced within Iraq itself."

If you'll allow me an understatement, it's going to take a while for that bruise to go down.

Mr. Clemons starts with an analogy between Bush's invasion of Iraq and our present relationship with Iran: "To a certain degree, the realities in Iran today were shaped by America's misguided, interventionist regime change success there in helping to overthrow Iranian President Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953 and installing Shah Reza Pahlavi."

Almost every television bloviator I've seen omits this basic truth when talking about Iran; it's the elephant in the room that we all need to talk about when we talk about why the Middle East hates us. It's not "America bashing"; it's just the way things are. Certainly the Islamic world is a mess, and a great deal of that is the fault of her own people-- but politicians who deny any American culpability in the crisis are no better than bullying children who refuse to take responsibility for the mess they've made. They are doing us no favors.

Read more here.

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