Gross, I am trying to remember the Arab country with a popularly elected government...wait, that is right, there is none! I really can't remember any freedom of speech or religion either in the Middle East. Sure, America has puppet regimes in the Middle East who are dictatorial and suppress freedom, and as I wrote earlier in re: how different are we that is a huge mistake that undermines America's efforts. When I speak of democracy, I do not mean America dominating everyone, I mean elected governments, freedom of speech and other freedoms. Sorry, but I don't consider a country where adulterers are stoned to death very "ideal." Right now, the Arab world is in a sorry state. Most Arabs agree that popularly elected governments and freedom of speech would be a good thing. Maybe you misinterpretted my article, but I never said that what America does in bribing corrupt regimes is good, quite the opposite. Finally, since when did we start talking about South East Asia? The fact is that in the middle east, individuals, mainly religious leaders view the U.S. and the West as the threat. Maybe because of American interference in the past in the Middle East, maybe because of Western Culture that they see as pornographic and unholy, maybe because democracy lessens their power. Whatever the reason, these individuals, not everyone, view the U.S. as the "Great Satan" and have used their own means to attack Western and American targets. Maybe the Arab world is not ready yet, but democracies, not corrupt dictatorships, would make the Middle East more peaceful, and allow for a better world as a whole.