Iraq is a country the size of California - and one whose population is nearly as diverse. Sunnis, Shi'ites, Yezidis, Christians, Kurds, and Arabs can all be found within its borders. Divided by religion and ethnicity, these groups have long histories of internecine grudges and sometimes bloody squabbling. Both the religious disputes which have wracked Lebanon and the ethnic disputes which have killed thousands in Turkey can be found within Iraq. Like the former Yugoslavia, it is an artificial entity created by mapmakers, one which joined disparate people under a common flag. And, like Yugoslavia, now that the dictator has fallen the old conflicts are surfacing once again.
Hussein's fall has created a vacuum, with various factions striving to get their piece of the pie. In an ideal world all these groups will work together, forming a state where every Iraqi, regardless of religion or ethnicity, has a say in the government. In a less than ideal world we could find ourselves embroiled in a quagmire. Knocking Hussein out of power proved comparatively easy: keeping 22 million people from killing each other may be considerably more difficult.
Here are some of the major players in postwar Iraq: