A Short Course
Juan Cole at Informed Comment
explains the entire Southwest Asian mess for anyone interested: Fisking the "War on Terror"
I lived through it and watched it happened. It was totally insane, and yes, the US government actually did these incredibly stupid things, and more.
Be aware that Pipes and Mylroie, the philosophers of the neocons, backed this mess and wrote articles and books in support of these policies. Cheney and Rumsfeld were featured performers in this entire danse macabre