The worst type of history is that inspired by political rivalry. The Iraq story is no exception; the received wisdom is largely shaped by Democrats vilifying the legacy of George W. Bush. The result is that most of the criticism of US policy in Iraq focuses on the invasion itself and its aftermath, rather than including US policy before the invasion. The Obama administration’s ethos is largely shaped by this. The Bush administration’s neo-conservative ideology of intervention and regime change has been followed by the Democrats’ policies of engagement and deal-making with regimes such as Bashar al-Assad’s in Syria.