Ned Flanders wrote:The Islamists had to be engaged and contained. Iraq was as good a beach head as any.
Come on. "Islamism" was pretty much irrelevant in Iraq under Hussein. Now it's present in all forms, from suicide bombers to the ruling political parties.
Look at the coalition that came to power in Iraq after the US overthrew Hussein. Its major parties are:
(1) The Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, an Iranian-backed party formerly known as the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.
(2) The Sadrist Movement, a Shiite fundamentalist party and one that led the opposition to the US military presence in Iraq.
(3) The Islamic Dawa Party, another Iranian-backed party.
Now, maybe the Iraqi people want to be ruled by an Islamist government. If that's the case, then you could make the argument that bringing something resembling "democracy" to Iraq helped the Iraqi people get what they want, although it unleashed a lot of violence in the process.
But there's no way you can claim that invading Iraq was somehow a success in "containing Islamism". The result of the war was exactly the opposite.