Looks like the sun is setting on the Great American Empire.
In a rather clever move, the US handed over sovereignty to a provisional Iraqi government at 10:26 Iraqi time, spoiling plans for anti-democracy violence.
Of course, domestically things won't go easy for Bush. I seem to remember him clearly stating the transition in power will take place on the 30th. Kerry will be able to use this one as yet another case of Bush's lying to the American people.
Personally, I think the US did many things wrong in the occupation. IMHO generals make poor political leaders. During the fifteen months that American soldiers paraded around the country seems to have built up a great deal of animosity. I feel that we had lost an opportunity to really engage the country in a debate about its future and the nature of democracy and freedom.
I think there is merit in the Democracy in a Box concept. But such efforts would include things like a firm election date and a very strong bill of rights. The Coalition Provisional Authority has an interim Constitution, yet the few rights delineated seem such that it would be easy for a new sovereign government to overturn.
Regardless, about the time I wake up tomorrow morning the sun will be setting on the US empire in Iraq for the last time. Lets hope that the anti democratic forces of the world don't shower the poor country in bloodshed.