Four years after the toppling of Saddam Hussein, by the US, life for the Iraqi people can be reasonably described as being "pretty awful".
In the midst of the corruption, revenge killings, sectarian warfare and chaos that the enforced "regime change" has brought about there have been some attempts to instill a spirit of freedom and hope for the future. Yet none of these have captured the hearts or minds of the people of Iraq.
Four years ago Saddam Hussein's statue was toppled, for all the world to see, by US marines; this was a potent symbol of the regime's downfall.
However, nature abhors a vacuum. What was there to replace the regime?
It became all to clear that the US had not thought through its post regime change occupation, and indeed had very naively hoped that democracy "light" would magically take root.
Two months after the statue was felled a replacement statue, called Najeen (survivor), was erected. It shows a woman, supported by a man and a child, holding up an Islamic crescent moon that frames a Sumerian sun.
It failed to inspire and was derided.
The most telling sign of trouble to come is the fact that the "new" Iraq has yet to create a new flag. This failure is the most potent symbol of the failure of the invasion and enforced regime change, the inability to agree on the design of a flag means that the Iraqi's themselves do not see that they they have a future.
A country without a flag, is a country without a future.