Perhaps the Bush administration should have considered the following before deciding that democratization and exposure to Western culture would be sufficient to deradicalize Muslims in Iraq:
Forty per cent of Muslims between the ages of 16 and 24 said they would prefer to live under sharia law in Britain, a legal system based on the teachings of the Koran. The figure among over-55s, in contrast, was only 17 per cent.
The study found disturbing evidence of young Muslims adopting more fundamentalist beliefs on key social and political issues
If the British experience is any guide, then the American occupation can be expected to make things worse in Iraq even if the violence can somehow be brought to an end. The problem that the White House and the deluded cheerleaders for the war are facing is that when your basic strategy is wrong, it doesn’t matter what you do tactically, it is never going to work.
The Spanish defeated Islam in their country by forcibly evicting the Moriscos, creating the Inquisition to locate conversos who feigned the abandonment of their previous loyalties and maintaining a strong barrier against Muslim entry. They did not invade the Iraq or Morocco and attempt to turn the culture into a neo-Spanish one.
The historical strategy worked and kept Islam in check for centuries. The democratization strategy already shows signs of massive failure after less than four years.