Following the iron authoritarianism of Saddam Hussein’s regime, Iraq has suddenly become a state on the verge of anarchy. Not that there is an absence of forces willing to violently seize or graciously accept power in the mêlée. Indeed, it seems there is an abundance of willing participants ranging from Islamists to self-proclaimed democrats.
The problem for the US is that the fantasy envisaged by neo-conservative Washington policy-makers, of Iraqis accepting liberation with open arms and realising the advantages of benevolent occupation, is being met with anti-American slogans. Dangerous sullenness has the potential to develop into vengeful reprisals against what is seen as an increasingly exploitative occupation.