It is disheartening, because the Muslim world does include significant moderns-moderates, who are plaintively hoping to see their world modern-up already. But they aren't ruling the local dialog-- check that, the local monologue in their nations. The fundamentalist crazies are, they rule the street and lead it around by the under-educated and over-instructed nose.
It's not like there is a tiny minority of modern-moderates; I think like most people everywhere, there are lots of folks who want to live their lives and raise their families and even worship as they see fit, just like here. But they aren't seething and plotting and fomenting all the fear and loathing; they aren't driving the national politics.
They are not in power, and are kind of patiently on the side-lines, riding out this conflict, quietly waiting to see how it is going to turn out. They live in fear of their own crazies suddenly instructing the street to eat them, if they don't toe the line. And, they are not seeing much help from a West which regrets cleaning house in Iraq, which took a pass in Libya and Egypt, which is averting its eyes in Syria, which is not confronting Iran, and which is in an uneasy stall in Afghanistan.
The smart money is on those straining to prevail; that is no longer a broke-busted US led by a poser spouting banalities in front of a world that is laughing at him, and smiling to his face, relieved to see that he's leading us down the hill.
Revolution and overthrow in those nations doesn't necessarily usher those modern-moderates into power, either, and yet, that is the only hope for the West of ending this conflict. This is compounded by our earlier half-hearted failures at shaping events in those wards-of-the-west mandated territories, former colonies in thrall to the Ottomans for hundreds of years. We backed corrupt bastards like Saddam as long as we thought that he was our corrupt bastard and would keep the lid on the local crazies, and for too long didn't care how he did that.
Well, how do you do that?
Because ... not so much. We're not winning any PR or instructional wars over there. We're barely in contention. We're mostly dodging 7.62x39mm and whatnot as a deadly training exercise with a murkily defined mission that seems uncomfortably similar to the body-count days of Vietnam. War of attrition? They live in attrition. It's us with something to lose. Clear&control? Forever, or until we declare victory and bail? Again.
We are not going to out-breed the fundamentalist crazies. We are not going to nuke them. We are not going to war with them. And by all evidence, we are not going to leave them in the dust by out-developing them; our economies are stuck in the current cul de sac of waiting for our own internal bad ideas to finally fly, which is never going to happen.
And so, we are ineffectively holding them off, expensively playing armed drone whack-a-mole, as polite a low level conflict as we can muster under the radar, weary of the need to, waiting for something to change, and they are patiently pressing the point, waiting for us to finally collapse from our effort at world empire, just like every past example.