I believe the gravest mistake in Iraq was to ignite a Jacobin revolution in the name of democracy. At worst, it sparks a violent terror to rapidly restructure society, and at best it leaves behind an unstable Illiberal Democracy.
The more stable path to democracy should be through constitutional monarchies who gradually share power with elected Parliament. This was the British path to Democracy in Europe, and it far outperformed the French model. The monarchies provide constitutional law and order and nurture a strong economy to create a Middle Class. As the Middle Class matures, it incrementally demands more and more power in Parliament until the transition to democracy is made peaceful. That’s one path to Liberal Democracy.
Today, there is better progress towards democracies in Morocco, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and even a little bit in Saudi Arabia. Some monarchies are forming parliaments and allowing elections for the first time. In Kuwait and Morocco, women are voting.
In Iraq? There is no constitutionalism. It’s raw Jacobinism. This is what the French Revolution looked like and I won’t apologize for it. This is one of the reasons why I think we should shift our political emphasis to the tribes – they provide the next best base of support.