From Musings On Iraq Iraq Thinks Its Politicians And Parties Are Failing Them According To New Opinion Poll It's worth reading the detail of this to get a picture of the countries mood. Key numbers: o 70% of Sunnis unhappy with the direction the country is going in o Young Sunni men particularly pissed off o Poor Shi'a unhappy and shifting towards Sadr What really disappointing is Maliki had managed to seize the reins from the Septics and largely shake off the devious Iranians. Allawi really had emerged as a potentially solid leader who seemed determined to represent Sunni as well as Shi'a interests, his party even won an election by a hair, only to be out maneuvered by the sectarian Shi'a status quo. The country remains mired in near Afghan levels of corruption with a rentier elite determinedly milking the place while a repressive military run it day to day. We perhaps should consider that a healthier adversarial democracy that provided better incentives to politicians to actually serve the voter may be an entirely unrealistic expectation in a country deeply scared by decades of divisive dictatorship and then a savage ethno-sectarian civil war. It's remarkable that they have come as far as national unity governments carving up the pie largely peaceably but if it continues like this it will be a dead end. This is not an encouraging example looking at the Arab Spring. The chorus from the protesters is they will not be like Iraq. They may be lucky to achieve as much as "The Persians". Iraq could be said to be different as it has had revolutionary change imposed upon it by force of arms. I don't really buy this "conceived in sin" argument, it fails to take account of a genuine popular surge towards Islamic but representative government by the natives. After the invasion the relatively sophisticated Iraqi Shi'a while hampered by American administration had political force, direction, capable leaders, well organized parties often with intimate support from a Qom ultimately interested in their success. Neither Libya, Yemen nor Syria have these advantages. Only Egypt has similar promise and it is plagued with not very different systemic problems that decades of democracy may only slowly erode.