The US military and foriegn policy establishment dealt with the then Yugoslavia throughout the 1990s. It's difficult to beleive they didn't see the uncanny parallels with Iraq before they went in there. Also, some of the post-invasion decisions, especially by Mr Bremmer, are very difficult to explain if the ultimate objective was a democratic, unified Iraq. However, if the ultimate objective was really to plunge Iraq into sectarian civil war and drag in Iran, Syria and Saudi, plunging the entire region into internecine fighting for decades and enabling the US to act as 'swing player' between the various sides while forcing the smaller but rich Gulf states to be dependent on US 'protection'. You could also see the recent shenanigans in Lebanon as part of this. http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Saudi_Worst_Nightmare_999.html Anyway, is this the Machiavellian truth, or do I need an extra-large roll of bacofoil?