During and immediately after the first gulf War, more than 200,000 of 700,000 U.S. troops sent to Iraq and Kuwait in January 1991 were exposed to nerve gas and other chemical agents. Though aware of this, the Department of Defense and CIA launched a campaign of lies and concocted a cover-up that continues today.
The removal from Syria of the Assad regime's stockpile of chemical weapons shows that joint efforts can yield positive results. Likewise, by agreeing to extend the international negotiations on Iran's nuclear program, the parties to the talks have kept alive the promise of a final deal, which would be a great victory for multilateral diplomacy.
Baathists like those have not only simply 'joined' with Islamist groups like IS to reinforce their insurgency. They actively set them up. The group's original name ISIS or ISIL, meaning 'Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,' refers to the Sunni majority area across Iraq and Syria, which they now control.
The administration's Iraq policy has failed. The U.S. is more entangled in conflict and war; Americans have been killed in retaliation for Washington's intervention; the Islamic State is still advancing; U.S. allies continue to free ride on America; Washington hopes to square a nonexistent circle in Syria.
These are problems that can only be fixed with more funding and resources, and now is the time to respond. Not only are the displaced battling to survive each day, they don't know how long they can stay wherever they are, if they will need to flee again or if their lives will ever return to normal. When and how this ends, nobody knows. What we do know is that humanitarian aid is desperately needed to keep people alive. The road ahead is long and the international community needs to step up now to save Iraq before it falls beyond repair.