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I’m opening myself up to a world of hurt in posting this, but this quote has stuck with me in the three years since I first heard it. Norman Mailer is often vilified, but he seems a pragmatic, brutally honest man, and that appeals to the pragmatic, brutally honest woman that I am. His comments are cutting and concise, and speak to the heart of the Europe/Islam political and social chasm that is currently playing out in the hysteria around the Mohammed cartoons. For the politically wishy-washy, don’t say I didn’t warn you…

That is where the greatest folly was in the war. Democracy comes out of an inner impulse in a majority of people in that country, to change the way they live and have a more open and more dignified… You cannot bring it into them from the outside… They don’t deserve democracy by their own light and they don’t. They haven’t fought for democracy. In the case of Iraq, The only way democracy could come to that country is through a basic war against Saddam Hussein that they were able to win. Which they had not been able to.

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