Worse Than the Shah
Although Jimmy Carter found out fast that there was something far worse than the Shah of Iran, liberals generally believe that, in the Muslim world, dictators like Mubarek, Assad and Gadofi need to go.
Conservatives, on the other hand, generally believe that dictators who are driven by the need for power and wealth are much better for their people and for the peace of the area than a sham democracy. We believe that those driven by a 7th century religion and culture are much more dangerous for everyone, and that true democracy is difficult to achieve in such a setting.
Saddam Hussein was a notable exception to this rule because he was a constant threat to his neighbors, had used weapons of mass destruction and was trying to rebuild his nuclear weapons program.
Revolutions have occurred recently in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, and is one is underway in Syria. It is clear that US support for the revolutionaries has backfired as the role of the Muslim brotherhood becomes clearer, and perhaps even the Obama Administration is holding back in Syria as the true motives of the rebels begin to emerge.
With the weakness that the United States is now showing, and with the growing power of people committed to dragging the world back to the 7th century, I see nothing but big trouble ahead. I hope it does not come to a widespread war, but that is what I see happening in the next two or three years.
Having plenty of powder and keeping it dry has always been a wiser course than groveling.