Michael Totten is blogging from Kurdistan in Northern Iraq. It's peaceful, prosperous, and pro-West. New construction is booming. Michael calls it the Utah of the Middle East. Money quote:
"I’m not cherry-picking these photos. I spent almost a week in the city. Every neighborhood I saw, from one end of Suleimaniya to the other, looked either lower middle-class or amazingly wealthy.
Some Kurds are returning home from the diaspora loaded with cash. Others are making money off the surging economy. Iraqi Kurds who remain in the West remit money back to family members who never left.
Real poverty, of the grinding Third World variety, did not appear to exist. If it does exist, it is very well hidden, at least in the cities. (The countryside is still primitive.)"
A useful perspective. Remember that we liberated these people from Saddam and made their security possible. Remember also that for a decade, we provided air-cover to allow their society to be born again. A decade. These things take time. Islam can indeed reconcile itself with the West. Even in the Middle East. Keep hope alive.