But more and more watchers are asking: is democracy the only possibility for Middle Eastern governments? Or can authoritarian governments work?
Given the current wave of religious fundamentalism and the cultural transformation it has wrought, it's not clear whether the Middle East can be truly democratic. If not, then what? And how far is the US willing to go to make it happen?
Jeane Kirkpatrick, Director of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, former Ambassador to the United Nations, 1981-1985, and author of "Dictatorships and Double Standards"
Nick Lemann, writer for the New Yorker and author of the article "Order of Battle: What the war against Iraq- and its aftermath- might look like"
Dexter Filkins, New York Times Middle East Correspondent
This program aired on December 2, 2002.