Undeniably, millions of Arabs wish to live in nations modeled on the West. But more, it appears, wish to live under regimes rooted in Islamic law.
We seem unable to appreciate that much of that world detests our culture, abhors our presence, loathes Israel and is as committed to Quranic absolutes as devout evangelical Christians are to biblical truths.
Our one-man, one-vote democratists who would remake the world in our image and whose ideology has guided foreign policy for the Bush-Obama decade failed to understand what our Founding Fathers taught:
A democracy, which they detested, empowers majorities to tyrannize minorities. "In questions of power," Jefferson admonished, "let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution."
Democratize the Middle East along one-man, one-vote majority-rule principles, without guarantees of minority rights, and majority tribes and sects will use their democratically won power to crush those minorities.
Is that not what is happening there today to the Christians of the Middle East?
The old influence we had over events in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Turkey, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan is slipping away. Even the Israelis tell Obama they will build on the West Bank when they wish, where they wish.
China, beneficiary of a decade of trade surpluses running into the trillions at our expense, now instructs us that the South China Sea, East China Sea, Yellow Sea and Taiwan Strait are territorial waters -- and the U.S. Navy shall behave accordingly.
Despite boasting a vast nuclear arsenal and the world's largest economy, America is perceived as weaker than she once was.
Though fighting for a decade, she is unable to impose her will on Iraq or Afghanistan. She cannot control her borders. She cannot balance her budgets. She cannot get her spending under control. She cannot stop the steady hemorrhaging of her jobs and factories overseas.
America is losing control. Why? A failure to understand human nature and the lessons of history -- and the mindless pursuit of Utopian dreams.
We wagered the wealth of a nation on a Great Society gamble that through endless redistribution from top to bottom, we could create a more just, equal and productive society.
After the Cold War, we embraced the idea that using our immense power, we could remake this world into a more egalitarian, cooperative and democratic place.
Long after reality caught up to us, we continue to chase the dreams.