Radek Sikorski has a good short article drawing on the experience of Eastern Europe.
Three major lessons emerge from the Central European experience. For regime change to result in liberal democratic order, a nation must remove the old regime from power, remember its crimes, and dismantle the social infrastructure that supported it. This will be hard for the citizens of Iraq, but not impossible.
Sikorski argues that the old regime must be pretty ruthlessly rooted out. He also argues that the Iraqi diaspora must be encouraged to return. Their experience living in free societies will be critically important.
It occurs to me that the same three things will be necessary before a viable Palestinian state can be formed. But we are not trying to do, or to encourage, any of them. The Arafat terrorist regime will remain in place, it will continue to lie about and glorify its terrorism, and the social infrastructure of intimidation will remain in place. Yet more evidence that Dubya’s road map thing ain’t gonna work. (David Warren looks to be right about that, unfortunately.)