Comparing Afghanistan and Iraqi is, in a sense, like comparing oranges and apples. Although they are both Muslims country, it is too much a simplification that American generals done in orchestrating the overthrow of their governments and the transition to civilian ruling. In the eye of American, they are both ruled by ruthless dictators, however, the subtle difference lies in the form of dictatorship it is taking. Also in the eye of American, their people enjoy little freedom as those in other Muslims country, but the subtleties lies in what way their people are deprived of their freedom, as well as the altitudes of governed toward their native government. These subtle difference resulted in great difference in the consequences.
In Iraqi, as much as American like to imagine, it is one of the few secular countries(other include Turkey and Iran) among its Muslims neighbor. Thus, in a sense, the Iraqi citizen are enjoying unprecedented freedom compare to those of their neighbor. Is that more likely Iraqi citizen compare themselves to other neighbor or to America? It appears to me that American has a habit of taking everything from USA as granted without putting it into historical context, and assuming the whole world think like USA citizen. Moreover, it maybe that the freedom could be exercised by Iraqi citizen is far less than what is stated in the constitution, but it is much better than the theocracy in Afghanistan. Another important factor is that the economical condition of an average Iraqis is far better than an average Afghanistan citizen, therefore the dissident are mostly political in nature. As wicked as Saddam Hussein be, his political party has come to power via a process that at least has some legitimacy, thus the root of legitimacy lies in political system.
Now, for Afghanistan, the struggle between Taliban and Northern Alliance is seen by many as power struggle between Arabs and native Afghanistans. Thus Taliban’s only sense of legitimacy come from its political ideal of moral-theocracy, but not its performance in managing the national economy, and its non-native root is never forgotten by its citizen. Therefore, USA is choosing the right strategy in toppling Taliban through aiding its proxy. However, the invasion of Iraqi could NEVER be right in the eye of Iraqis unless its toppled by revolution incited by USA. To them, it is United States invading Iraqi using the excuse of freedom and liberation, since lack of freedom wasn’t a concern for Iraqis big enough to rebel against a secular government. This government wasn’t a good one, but Iraqis fear more of the rule by religion as in other non-secular Muslims states. How much freedom that USA could bring to Iraqi purposefully rather than it take away unintentionally?
Therefore, it is not a surprise to anyone that rebellion resulted after USA declared its victory, it is as much as Saddam Hussein’s masterminded plan as much as a normal reaction to the political situation there. Since the original government is toppled, it is thus nature for every political/religion fraction to struggle for power there. Since Iraqi has little or no tradition of representative democracy, the easiest cost way to power is through violence and guns(In part because USA doesn’t have the military might/political will to fight every fraction in Iraq). USA should have known that Iraqis is perhaps the most militarized civilian in the world, and bullet cost much less than ballet.
What has happened now should be predictable beforehand. Is that American who are naive and stupid or they have other things in mind when invading Iraqi? Is that regardless of the situation in Iraqi, USA could make some gains from this invasion?