America is learning the hard way that it simply can't do the same things that dictators do and expect to maintain its integrity.
Granted, the Bush administration has been busy turning America ideals into torture chambers for 5 1/2 years, but time and the light of day are starting to weigh on those efforts as well.
This isn't PC to say, but perhaps Saddam managed to keep Shiites and Sunnis living together "peacefully" because he could do what most democracies can't: shoot lots of people.
I refuse to believe that the various ethnic and religious groups in the Middle East can't get along. It's entirely possible that the strife in the Middle East is the result of many other, more mundane factors and are simply dressed in the colors of religious hatred to provide an excuse.
While its safe to say that few have found peaceful answers to Middle Eastern harmony, it is certain that democracies like the US will always fail to instill peace by force. True democracies simply won't tolerate the brutalness required to sprout peace from the barrel of a gun.