By Padraig O'Hannelly.
As we approach the tenth anniversary of the US-led invasion and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime, there is much speculation about how the country and indeed the world would now look had Western powers not intervened.
And while that speculation may be interesting, it can be no more than an educated guess; what we have to address is the present state of the country, and how to improve it based on the current realities. But here too we are very far from consensus, and there are many different perspectives on the situation.
A special edition of the BBC's current affairs program Newsnight devoted itself to airing the opposing viewpoints, but failed to acknowledge the considerable advances that Iraq has achieved in recent years in areas such as energy production, infrastructure and housing.
"What is also clear to me -- despite much of the media narrative -- is that Iraq is a country on the move. The opportunities are fantastic and the potential immense."
While we don't underestimate the challenges facing Iraq over the next ten years, it is important to be reminded of those opportunities and that potential, and to remember that Iraq, for all its problems, is making progress.