"It is still possible that most Iraqis will come out of the war better off than they were before. Being ruled by Saddam Hussein was about as bad as it gets. The question is whether the US will be a better place after years of fear-mongering, military abuse, erosion of civil liberties, and a constant stream of political propaganda that distorts America's proudest legacies. If America can no longer offer the hope of freedom, refuge from persecution, or a second chance in the lives of millions, the whole world will be worse off. And we cannot blame al-Qaeda for that."—Ian Buruma, 2004.