The once libertine oil port of Basra, 350 miles south of the capital and far from the insurgency raging in much of Iraq, is steadily being transformed into a mini-theocracy under Shiite rule. There is perhaps no better indication of the possible flash points in a Shiite-dominated Iraq, because the political parties that hold sway here also wield significant influence in the central government in Baghdad and are backed by the country's top clerics.If you equate liberating the Iraqis with allowing them to form the kind of government that the majority wants, then having the municipal governments be theocracies is probably about as close as you can get to true liberation.
The irony for all the rightwingers who favored the war, of course, is that this was exactly Noam Chomsky's point when before the war he suggested that, if we really wanted to liberate the Iraqis, then we ought to invite the Iranians into south Iraq. Somehow, I don't think that's quite what the neocons had in mind. But that's what they got -- at least, that's what they got in the most peaceful and calm part of Iraq.
Speaking of which, any word on when the "sovereign" Iraqi government is going to recognize Israel?