The precedents are many: Haiti, Somalia, the Balkans, and Afghanistan. They are nations ravaged by brutal leaders, then shattered by war, undone by fear and an absence of trust. The same is now true of Iraq, where American reconstruction efforts, so intent on seeing democracy flourish, have so far struggled trying to provide even basic services.
One problem in particular is helping Iraqis cope with the emotional toll or oppression and war. There is the mourning for loved ones lost to fighting, or uncovered in mass graves. There is also the anger of a people delivered, perhaps, from evil, but then into lawlessness. It is a nations with a still-slippery grasp on security even in its brave new world of life after war.
Colonel Garland Williams, Senior Army Fellow, United States Institute for Peace
Peter Ford, Christian Science Monitor correspondent in Baghdad
Dr. Zuhair Humadi, Iraqi human rights activist and co-founder of Mafqud.org, a website that tracks Iraq’s missing.