Earlier this wek Michael Totten wrote something that I have also thought:
“I’ve had this theory for a while now,” I said. “It looks like some, if not most, Middle East countries are going to have to live under an Islamic state for a while and get it out of their system.”
This isn't a thought that is very hopeful in the short term but it makes a certain amount of long term sense. One of the more fundamental problems with democracies is that the average man in the street or souk is not trained in things like economics and that therefore he tends to hold on to the simplistic, easily grasped but wrong solutions to probems proposed by demagogues. As the middle east gradually moves towards the twentieth century in terms of democracy and human rights it's peoples will have to learn in the manner of the proverb about the burned hand that certain things are bad. The key thing that we in the west need to do is to ensure that elections recur in a fair manner after the religious bigots have won control. This is problematic but key. Bearing this thought in mind helps, I think, in the framing of the debate linked by Wretchard between Daniel Pipes and Reuel Marc Gerecht of the American Enterprise Institute
We in the west should not be any means look down at this inablity of middle eastern voters to learn by example because we have done it and continue to do it too. Witness, for example, the way that we let our elected leaders kowtow to "muslim sensibilities" and fail to stand up for those who chose to call Muslims out on their hypocrisy in ongoing controversy over the Jyllands Postern cartoons. Fortunately there has been significant blogospheric commentary includng recntly at Gates of Vienna and Brussels Journal. Also via samizdata I have found a link to page that shows them and, since that page is a) slow and b) leads to horrible popups/spyware, I have mirrored the cartoons from that page here in my own Muhmmed cartoon page. So in the spirit of Danish solidarity I shall finish by wishing all a "Glædelig jul og godt nytår!!!"
I despise l'Escroc and Vile