One of the privileges of post-colonial empire-building is a certain arrogance that stems from the contradictory behavior of exerting power throughout the world while remaining insular and isolationist at home. When I was a kid, very few Americans could have found any of the current "hot spots" around the globe on a map. I think that we're a little more educated nowadays, but not nearly enough to pull off this most-powerful-country-in-the-world thing for any real length of time. The invasion of Iraq is clear evidence of that. We thought we'd walk in, take out Saddam, and everything would just fall into place. We thought that our superior technology, our ability to bomb just about anything back to the stone age, would translate into the ability to control some dinky backwoods country.
Philadelphia is the 6th largest city in the United States. There's about 11 million people in Philadelphia and vicinity. Baghdad is half again as big, with about 16 million people.
The skyline above - that's Tehran, Iran. Tehran and environs houses 21 million people. Chicago, the 3rd largest city in the US, houses 18.5 million.
Tehran even has a space needle.