Transitions great and small
The outsiders have consistently been the ruling elites of "Great Britain" and the "U.S." It was the "British," under the guidance of Winston Churchill, who created "Iraq" in the first place. "American" involvement increased following World War II, in contrivance with the "British," with the overthrow of Abdul Karim Qassim, which paved the way for the tyrannical rule of Saddam Hussein.
As Eric Margolis notes today, it was Winston Churchill who first ordered the gassing of the "Kurds" of "Iraq," setting the example so enthusiastically followed by Saddam. Every perfidy, every evil of Saddam Hussein and his henchmen can be traced to his "British" and "American" backers. Whatever "weapons of mass destruction" he ever possessed were supplied by his Western enablers. Whatever torture and oppression of his people he fostered was in turn fostered by his Western enablers. Whatever invasions he foisted on his neighbors were enabled by his Western enablers. This includes the invasion of Kuwait, which almost certainly was an entrapment, a more foolish gambit, in hindsight, than the current debacle. It was the tacit approval of Saddam's invasion that set into motion the long process that has culminated in the farce we are now seeing.
The real question is what the future will bring. There is much lament that Saddam died before he could reveal the secrets of "American" and "British" involvement in his crimes. In the grand scheme of things it matters little. There are much greater forces and inevitabilities than can be controlled and manipulated by little men like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Tony Blair. Ever the optimist, I see the unraveling of the Bush crime family's adventure in "Iraq" as a pivotal phase in the transition to true civilization. My best sense of the future is summarized in the comment I made to a Smirking Chimp article this morning:
The downsizing of the Bush crime family
I wouldn't hold my breath in anticipation of the "American" people demanding the truth about Saddam Hussein. There's plenty of truth out there already.
The wheels of Karma grind slowly sometimes, especially when it comes to world affairs, the interactions among nations, criminal cabals, and individual lawlessness. George W. Bush is not going to be a revered national hero, no matter what success he has in covering up his crimes. He will die in disgrace, likely in a drunken stupor at his "ranch," with the official reason being something akin to choking on a pretzel.
No matter what the outcome of the Iraq fiasco will be, something is coming to an end. The Industrial Revolution has reached its pinnacle, and now is beginning its descent. With global warming and numerous other environmental pressures, raw criminality at the governing level of society will not yield the gains that perpetrators enjoyed in the past. The need for survival will be paramount, and the luxury of "leadership" by the likes of Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, and Bush will be a thing of the past. Likewise for "leadership" by the likes of Kennedy, Johnson, and Clinton. A Carter-type would do, but we will need to do better.
Ultimately, the criminal era of "American" empire-building around the planet is over. There will be a few last-ditch desperate attempts like attacking Iran, Syria, North Korea, and maybe Venezuela and Cuba, but the game is up. The species will very soon be focused on its survival. Little men like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and their various clones around the planet will have to settle for lower-level crime like armed robbery, burglary, and rape.