Federal or Islamic United States of Iraq?

The politics of security in an area that has shattered as predictably as Iraq — yes, predictably if you look at the failure to plan for post-"major hostilities" and failures to hold the reconstruction effort (er, friends of the Administration) accountable — has now induced an artificial deadline to create a state similar to the US. How again did the US get to be the US and not these United States? It wasn’t overnight, and apparently the Administration is starting to realize this.

Charles Kupchan, The Travails of Union, highlights the realities of democracy building. This is not "nation building" since a nation is something different than a state, which is itself likely to be different than a democracy based on sheer (lack of) numbers of states that are democracies.

Fred Kaplan, in Slate, highlights and comments on a few of the insurgencies after the American Revolution and barriers to a successful union. Kupchan notes the transition from speaking of these United States to the United States happened only after the Civil War, eighty years after the revolution.

Various observations are being made on the format (and name) of the new Iraqi state. Will it be a Federal entity (to the joy of the Kurds, among others) or an Islamic Republic?

Sound bites of "last throes" aside, it is clear there is face saving being attempted in an Administration that failed to grasp the depth in which the various vilyets of Iraq would not be showering each other with roses as they unified to create a model democracy in the Middle East.