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Iraq-Iran Ties Grow Stronger As Iraq Rises From The Ashes

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Image from a quicklink In the run-up to the war in Iraq, neoconservative hawks in and out of the Bush administration promised that the U.S. invasion would quickly transform that country into a strong ally, a model Arab democracy and a major oil producer that would lower world prices, even while paying for its own reconstruction.

"A new regime in Iraq would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example of freedom for other nations in the region," President George W. Bush told a crowd at the American Enterprise Institute in 2003, a few weeks before he launched the attack.

Ten bloody and grueling years later, Iraq is finally emerging from its ruins and establishing itself as a geopolitical player in the Middle East -- but not the way the neocons envisioned. Though technically a democracy, Iraq's floundering government has degenerated into a tottering quasi-dictatorship. The costs of the war...

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