"I would have been perfectly happy living under Paul Bremer, as in fact the Puerto Ricans seem pretty happy under US administration."-- from a reader
Apparently, to this [Australian] poster, who has yet to reply to the request that he supply a list of his most recent reading on Islam, there is no difference between him and the people in Iraq. He liked the administration of Paul Bremer, and declares that he, an American, would have "been perfectly happy living under Paul Bremer."
For good measure, he adds that "the Puerto Ricans seem pretty happy under US administration." Let;s take that second point first. Obviously not all Puerto Ricans are delighted with their status, but many are content and for obvious reasons. There is local autonomy -- a locally-elected governor, for example. At the same time, there are large financial benefits to Puerto Rico that result from its remaining in its present status. Citizens of Puerto Rico can also travel to, and settle freely within, the fifty states. Statehoood would be financially more onerous, and independence even more so. Why tinker with a good thing? But I assure you -- if Puerto Ricans were Muslims, they would be killing Americans right and left and demanding not only that the Infidel Americans leave, but would be trying to spread Islam all over the Caribbean.
You simply do not understand, and lack the wit and imagination to try, the influence of Islam on the minds of men. You see only the exterior, and think they are just like us. It's a common mistake. It's Bush's mistake: he thinks that if brought "freedom" or "democracy" (defined narrowly as elections) and "prosperity" that they will be just like us, only Muslim. It's nonsense. The "prosperity" will fade, unless America keeps pumping money in, until the oil wealth really kicks in again, because the nature of Muslim societies is such that even in the richest ones, there is not as yet a single real economy -- inshallah-fatalism explains why. Oh, there are plenty of big buildings and grandiose projects -- see Saudi Arabia-- but let's see if populations unused to real work, and entirely dependent on the revenues and rents of OPEC royalties, can begin to look like those European countries you keep comparing them to. Possibly, in a small city-state such as Dubai, with a gigantic concentration of oil wealth, some local Arabs will begin to put in the kind of work necessary, and the many Iranians who are there as well -- but on any larger scale, one sees no signs of anything other than continued total dependence on oil.
But let me get to your astonishing, Podsnappian belief that the whole world, Paul Edwards, is just like you:
"I would have been perfectly happy living under Paul Bremer."
Would you, now? Can you imagine that just possibly the Sunnis of Fallujah, Ramadi, Baquba, and Tikrit were not so delighted to live under Paul Bremer, who dissolved the Sunni-run army? Can you imagine that the Kurds, who are still eager for independence, even if far more well-disposed toward Americans than any of the Arabs, would be delighted to remain in Iraq under the rule of Paul Bremer? And what of the Shi'a -- do you think they would, having at long last achieved their goal of having power potentially in their hands, would allow it to remain in the hands of Jack Armstrong, All-American boy (as Bremer was long ago described at JW)?
Apparently you cannot see, just like Podsnap, why the whole world cannot be just like you,, think like you, want the same things that you want. Well, Muslim Arabs don't. And that is something that even the lowliest soldier in Iraq has noticed and come back to report -- at least, the soldiers who have their wits about them, and take in the real situation, as opposed to parroting the Administration and its party line.