Saw this very interesting PBS documentary on TV. You can watch this online and read interviews with some top rank politicians involved in the Iraq disaster.

In the first weeks after the statue of Saddam Hussein fell, a group of young American bureaucrats led by Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III set off to establish democracy in Iraq. “We had an ambitious goal,” Bremer tells FRONTLINE, “to try to bring better government to Iraq and help them rebuild their economy [and] their country.” One year later, as Bremer made a secret exit to evade insurgent attacks, the group left behind a thriving insurgency, economic collapse and much of its idealism. “Our grand initiative there [was] to bring democracy to Iraq,” says Rajiv Chandrasekaran, former Baghdad bureau chief for The Washington Post. Instead, says Chandrasekaran, “we were leaving with our tail between our legs.”

“The Iraqi people were, if not the enthusiastic, liberated populace that some of us had anticipated, were at least open-minded, and, on balance, prepared to work with the United States,” says James Dobbins, the administration’s former special envoy to Afghanistan and adviser to the Defense Department. “And that has largely been lost, and was largely lost over that first year.”