It’s not necessary for the Iraqis to love America, or be grateful, or whatever (and it isn’t going to happen, there’s too much history of the US and UK meddling in the past)
They just have to come to pragmatically believe that a stable, democratic Iraq is in their own best interest. Of course this may mean different things to Kurds, Shia, Sunni, Leftists, Rightists Secular and True Believers etc – but, other than the extremists, people tend to share common wishes, (like being left alone to get on with their own lives, see their kids do well at school, get satellite TV)
How to do that? I haven’t a clue
There does seem to be a big problem with US troops alienating civilians (particularly by shooting them!) mostly I guess because they seem to be under constant attack from the insurgents who wear civilian clothes and drive civilian cars and trucks.
But one of the thinks that struck me when watching the documentary mentioned in this thread was just how totally unprepared the troops were.
At one point a US soldier has to borrow the reporter’s interpreter just to talk to the Iraqis supposedly under her command (worryingly, Langan also seems to have to keep reminding the soldiers to watch each other’s backs)
The US isn’t going to be fighting the USSR in future; it’s going to be engaged with actions where “Hearts and Minds” will count more than tanks, were money is better spent on interpreters than billion dollar rocket systems. The US military has to learn urban warfare were it can’t easily tell friend from foe, when not shooting one civilian can mean letting a suicide bomber though, but shooting another turns previous allies into suicide bombers.