Today's The Gathering Storm paints a chilling but plausible picture of what could be coming as a result of our Iraq folly.
My own darkest fear is that the Middle East is at the beginning of its own period that Europe experienced in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: a massive, sectarian, regional bloodbath. I hope this won't happen. I hope to be proven wrong again. But I fear the process is already underway. The best hope for Iraq is perhaps a temporary surge in U.S. troops to make one last effort at some effort at a relatively peaceful de facto partition, before the near-inevitable U.S. withdrawal and subsequent involvement of Saudis and Egyptians in support of the Sunnis and the Iranians on the side of the Shia. (At this point, I'd be relieved if we can save the Kurds.)
The major powers in the Middle East, in other words, are on the verge of behaving like the major powers in Europe centuries ago: they will act as expressions of national interest but also of sectarian theology. And they will fight a terrible war before they agree on a chastened peace.
Joe Bob sez check it out.