Back on 31 January 2005, the Independent newspaper published this letter from me. It's what I thought then and it's what I think now:
Sir: The awful daily carnage in Iraq arises at least in part from the American decision to impose national elections on an artificial nation, created by the First World War victors and sustained ever since by not much more than foreign occupation and domestic force.
I do wonder what would have happened if separate elections had been offered to Shia, Sunni and Kurd regions with the option to federate afterwards or go for independence. It may be that this path was not followed because of the hostility of Iraq's neighbours, notably Turkey, to a separate Kurdistan and because of American fears of a pro-Iranian Shia government.
But then that is simply to say that "Iraq" is something foreign governments want to exist, whereas democracy is about securing governments wanted by peoples.