Yasser Alaskary of the Iraqi Prospect Organisation makes some important points in his contribution to the Voices On Iraq series in the Guardian
Some of the things the US has done have helped to bring democracy in too. That’s not necessarily of their own doing, but because of pressure – through demonstrations and the like – from the Iraqi public. The constitution is being written by an elected body: something the US didn’t want to do. The transitional government in January will be an elected transitional government – again something the US didn’t want to do, but the fact that they submitted to Iraqi opinion is very positive.
I continue to be concerned, of course, because the transition to democracy is such a fragile process. It’s one that is not complete yet and it could still go wrong. There are attempts form external forces to incite violence between Sunni and Shia, but what it has actually done, especially after the Kerbala bombing, is to pull the two communities much closer together.