For the past fifty years, US policy in Iraq has been crafted according to the same precepts that guided the larger policy toward the Middle East. There are three main concerns: combating the spread of communism, securing the flow of petroleum to the world market, and protecting the security of Israel. These concerns have produced a policy that focused on the support and protection of traditional allies in the region and the containment of unco-operative regimes and movements. While the last two concerns seem to endure the test of time, the fear of communism has been succeeded by a larger phobia: the rise of religious consciousness among the overwhelmingly Muslim population. Whether it is a middle-of-the-road Islamic consciousness or an extremist religiosity with terrorist manifestations, the result is hardly different as far as the US economic and political interests are concerned. Both modes of Muslim resurgence represent direct threats to the US-backed oppressive regimes in the region as well as to the current nature of Israel, as a Jewish state with a superior military capacity in the region.