Iraq: The Long Haul

Larry Diamond - Out of the ruins of one of the world's worst tyrannies, in an ancient land that has rarely known any form of decent or constitutional governance, a democracy is struggling to be born. Iraq is one of the world's least likely sites for a transition to democracy. Virtually all the classic preconditions for liberal government are lacking. And yet, with its decades-long despotism shattered, Iraq is now better positioned than any of its 15 Arab neighbors to become a democracy in the next few years. That achievement, however tentative and imperfect, would ignite mounting aspirations for democratization throughout the region - from Iran to Morocco - and renew the momentum of freedom worldwide.