Interesting comment from Francis Fukuyama on this in the Guardian:
Neoconservatism has evolved into something I can no longer support
The US needs to reframe its foreign policy not as a military campaign but as a political contest for hearts and minds
Wednesday February 22, 2006
"[...]Promoting democracy and modernisation in the Middle East is not a solution to jihadist terrorism. Radical Islamism arises from the loss of identity that accompanies the transition to a modern, pluralist society. More democracy will mean more alienation, radicalisation and terrorism. But greater political participation by Islamist groups is likely to occur whatever we do, and it will be the only way that the poison of radical Islamism can work its way through the body politic of Muslim communities. The age is long gone when friendly authoritarians could rule over passive populations[...]"
Interesting thought. Any views?