The American invasion of Iraq in 2003 was based upon the assumption that Saddam Hussein would be overthrown and Iraq would resume its existence under the rule of a democratically elected government. Those in charge of this invasion had absolutely no concept as to the constitution of what was termed, “Iraq.” The nation of “Iraq” actually incorporated within its boundaries three distinct groups. Most were Shiites, but about 25% were Sunnis who had immense dislike of Shiites. In northern regions of the country, most people were Kurds who regarded themselves as a separate people. Adding to the confusion was that Saddam Hussein was a Sunni who ran his dictatorship with scant desire to offer the majority Shiites any form of equal rights. In other words, once Saddam Hussein was gone, the possibility of a Sunni reaction to Shiite rule was very probable. During the famous “Surge” under direction of General Petraeus, he had enough common sense to work with Sunnis in an attempt to create the basis of a unified nation.
The Surge concluded and Nuri al-Maliki, a Shiite assumed power as prime minister. Instead of continuing the newly formed alliance with Sunni leaders, he proceeded to imprison Sunnis, throw them out of the armed forces, and institute a reign of terror. The result was obvious. Sunnis joined with Islamic Militants in order to overthrow their oppressive Maliki government. The outcome was clear–Sunni support of ISIL allowed this group of radical Islamists to sweep over northern Iraq. This is the current situation.