The clear difference with our occupation of Germany and Japan after WW2, and our situation in Iraq is simply this...
With our occupation of the two world war two opponents, we knew that all of the people we dealt with were enemy, and while we treated them very well, the focus was they will try to mess with us, and we were on guard.
Iraq is a new and very different situation, insofar as we are trying to win the hearts and minds of these people and trying to establish a democracy. Democratic government, in this part of the world is not part of their culture. Country after country in that area has strong leadership, or downright dictatorships.
It would appear to me that we have a choice. We can either back a strong dictator, or turn the country over to the fanatic imams. If, of course we opt for a strong dictator, it's too late to recall the previous one.
I see a division of the country. To the north, the Kurds are not going to give up their prosperous economy, oil production, or independence.
To the south, Iran will at some time soon, flow over the Shiite area, burying democracy forever. The Center? Saudi Arabia and Syria will fight over the remains.