"Whenever I asked Iraqis what kind of government they had wanted to replace Saddam's regime, I got the same answer: they had never given it any thought. They just assumed that the Americans would bring the right people, and the country would blossom with freedom, prosperity, consumer goods, travel opportunities. In this, they mirrored the wishful thinking of American officials and neoconservative intellectuals who failed to plan for trouble. Almost no Iraqi claimed to have anticipated videos of beheadings, or Moqtada al-Sadr, or the terrifying question 'Are you Sunni or Shia?' Least of all did they imagine that America would make so many mistakes, and persist in those mistakes to the point that even fair-minded Iraqis wondered about ulterior motives. In retrospect, the blind faith that many Iraqis displayed in themselves and in America seems naïve. But, now that Iraq’s demise is increasingly regarded as foreordained, it's worth recalling the optimism among Iraqis four years ago," - George Packer, the New Yorker.
(Photo: Iraqi Shiite men wave Iraqi flags during an anti-U.S protest called by firebrand Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to mark the fourth anniversary of the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime on April 9, 2007 in the holy Shiite city of Najaf south of Baghdad, Iraq. Large crowds held flags and anti-US banners to show support for the cleric. Meanwhile the capital Baghdad was put under a 24-hours curfew. By Wathiq Khuzaie/Getty Images.)