A Legacy of Blowbacks

Iraqi dissidents have paid for U.S. indecision with their life

Ahmed Allawi, an AK-47 rifle slung over his shoulder, crouched in a hilltop cemetery in northern Iraq on a chilly night in March 1995. He and other guerrillas were launching their first armed assault on the Iraqi army since the formation of the opposition Iraqi National Congress three years earlier.

Their aim: overthrow Saddam Hussein. "We thought we were writing the history of Iraq," recalls Allawi, who bristled with adrenaline as the fighters overran three Iraqi positions. "But what happened later showed we were totally wrong."

What happened later should make Washington pause before getting too deeply entangled again with...

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