I have for some time been concerned that, with all of our good intentions, the people of Iraq may not be able to sustain or even comprehend our (Western) view of a Democratic government. There are so many fundamental cultural differences that even though the Iraqi people may desire more freedom, a succesful Democratic government in Iraq will look very little like the United States. Recently, while catching up on some back reading, I came across the September issue of Imprimis, where Bernard Lewis captured my concerns and elaborated on "Freedom and Justice is Islam". If you also ponder these concerns, then this quick read article is well worth your time.
This article by Lewis also illustrates the motivation behind on of my greatest passions - alternative energy sources. In the mid 1920's the discovery of oil by the House of Saud transformed, "...what would have been a lunatic fringe in a marginal country [to] a major force in the world of Islam". That single event more than any other, in my opinion, is the source of power and world influence now held by Middle Eastern countries. If Western civilization could break away from its dependence on oil, the money trail for most terrorist activities would dry up.
##That's my opinion##