The blame game began within hours of Sunni extremists taking Mosul (see page 1). Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki blamed members of the army for deserting, saying the seizure of the city was a “conspiracy”. Saudi Arabia blamed Iranian-backed Maliki, with information minister Abdelaziz Bin Mohieddin Khoja saying: “This would not have arisen were it not for the sectarian and exclusionary policies practised in Iraq over the past years”. Former British prime minister Tony Blair blamed the civil war in Syria (and definitely not the 2003 invasion of Iraq of which he was a primary architect). Writing in The Wall Street Journal on 15 June, L Paul Bremer, the former US governor of Iraq, tried to pin it on US President Barack Obama, who, he said, pulled US forces out of Iraq too soon.