Well, I've been thinking (always a dangerous proposition) about the views expressed in this thread on both sides and in the middle. A few points.
Muslim countries, based on a militant religion, respect strength. This isn't just the Middle East, but most of Africa, and large tracts of the former Soviet Union. To them, turning the other cheek is a sign of weakness, and for those that, again, only respect strength, this is a problem. And before anyone gets bent, Mohammed, the Prophet, was raised in a rather peaceful trade city of Jews, early Christians, and local tribesmen who sought revenge for the killing of his mother and father, and turned it into a religion to increase his military strength in eastern Africa. Well, actually his son did to keep the power consolidated. Mohammed died in battle, but I'm meandering again.
Mankind, specifically and generally, are warriors by nature, wearing thinly the veneer of 'civility'. No offense, GR, but you aren't the first to espouse these ideals. It has been done through countless millenia, and every time, those pacifistic agrarian peoples would be slaughtered wholesale by those seeking land/slaves/food/resources/revenge. And even in modern 'civilised' times, pacifism has had disasterous results. England, France, and the rest of the non-triad world 'turned the other cheek' when Hitler reclaimed the Sudetenland, then invaded Austria, Poland, and then France. Turning the other cheek and pacifism only works when the other side(s} also follow suit, and that is inherently against human nature. We try to convict and execute serial killers, but in other cultures, serial killers become Heads of State.
Is society in a state of decay? Define society. In the broad scope, there has been decay ever since Man developed the first stone tool. As for any allusions about the military action in Iraq, I, for one, do believe there was terrorist collusion on behalf of the Iraqi government. We have satellite photos of a 747 mockup on a peninsula south of Baghdad, where the Iraqi army was forbidden to interact with the trainess of that facility. We have a governmental head and family who is only nominally Muslim. Those were prime targets for Al-Queda [sp], who strive to bring back the Golden Age of Islam, circa 1300 AD, while, of course, firmly entrenching themselves in the seats of power. Human nature, and all that. Even the Bolsheviks, following the October Revolution, made for themselves new Czars.
As far as Bush is concerned, I respect him. He says what's on his mind, even if it comes out as a maloprop, and does what he says. And that resonates with this Texan living in the deserts of Arizona. Barring Kenneth Lay, most Texans are like that.
Anyhow, that's enough for now, as I've rambled enough.