Are you aware that the first Caliphate was democraticaly elected by the elders? Are you aware that every single "nation" in the Middle East has had a large base of support to create democracy since the beginning of European colonialism, but has been denied it, and that along the way too many of them began to turn towards "God" as the ultimate solution for their earthly salvation? - (This seperates the majority from the lost souls that merely wish to serve "God" at any cost.)
You see, the reason there has been "no democratic tradition" in the Arab world is because since the age of modernism, Europeans ensured that democracy was a White Western thing while relying on the support of dictators, thugs, and religious leaders elsewhere in order to provide economic stability for their trades. Along came the Cold War and America gets stuck with the world they created as it battles a very immediate ideology war against a nuclear competitor. We maintained the idea of "stability" at any cost and shelved our own values when we saw it necessary (often mistaken for "easier.")
To use the fact that there has been no Vermont or San Fransisco in the Middle East to assume that their destiny relies on oppression and control is not only short sighted, but absolutely racist and morally decrepit. The only question should be whether or not Sunni Arab Islam is compatible with Western democracy. We see it in Indonesia, but this is far removed from the heartland and they are hardly Sunni loyalists. We see it in Turkey, but they were converts and they are not Sunni Arabs in the heartland. Unlike Saudi Arabia, Egypt has a written history that pre-dates Islam too and are themselves victims of Arab colonialism. They too have every tool that Turkey had to create a democracy that respects religion, but draws a line.
Let me put this in other terms. If you actually think that our security and the "stability" of the Middle East relies upon dictators and religious theocracies, I remind you of the long term relationships that the Shah of Iran and what Mubarak has produced. If we have any kind of immediate evironmental awareness about us at all, we should absolutely be able to identify that in Europe and in the U.S., the people will win in the end. The longer we disallow the people their voice in the Middle East, or merely pretend to support their modernists voices, we make the religious threat in the region worse and worse.
I know what I'm talking about. When you sit on the toilet and ponder on who the smartest man in the world is.....relax....it's me.
(<------ Yes, this is my "smilie" and nobody else can use it without express permission from Kelzie or the artist formerly known as GySgt.)