We know that Iraq is a terrible mess. Shi'ites fight Sunnis. Chaldean Christians, Turkmen and ethnic Persians are being persecuted, and the Kurds in the north are trying to break free. In this jumble, the area becomes fertile ground for IS and similar groups.
The situation is often viewed as the result of Iraq being a so-called artificial state, with borders drawn on the map by rulers of the British in 1932, irrespective of ethnic groups and natural land divides. In other words, the usual post-colonial history of the Middle East.
On top of this, Iraq experienced the oppressive Sunni dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, who took the internal divisions in the country to new heights and is still considered the main culprit behind the current troubled situation.
Iraqi identity building
But this whole story is not necessarily true. Lisa Blaydes, Stanford University's associate professor of political science, has gained access to thousands of documents from Saddam Hussein's archives, as well as loads of other written material by the Americans. . .
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