According to New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersch, who broke both the Mylai and Abu Ghraib stories, the United States is countering Iran's growing influence by tacitly supporting fundamentalist Sunni movements throughout the region. In essence, the US went into Iraq to defeat Al Qaeda and unexpectedly met an Iran who was seeking regional hegemony. The US has responded by supporting the Sunnis against the Shiite Iranians. It would seem that past failures would keep our leaders from making these same mistakes.This backfired when the US supported the Afghani muhajadeen against the Soviets. Notable muhajadeen veterans make up the backbone of anti-US terror groups, most notably Osama bin Laden. We also substantially strengthened Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran.
It seems like we are running in circles, fighting perpetual wars for a ever distant peace.
This imperialistic model worked well two thousand years ago. We are moving out of a space where force is the medium used to acquire power. Watching these blunders unfold in the middle east is like watching a tyrannosaurus rex feed right before the comet hit the earth.