It has taken not just us, but many people, by surprise.
Let me give you another example. Michael Scheuer, the former CIA-head of the Osama bin Laden Unit quotes in his book Imperial Hubris, published in 2004, an official report of the Pentagon's Defence Science Board in which American military experts warned their Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that
'Muslims do not hate our freedom, but rather they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority [of Muslims] voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the long-standing, even increasing support for what Muslims seed ass tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, and the Gulf States. Thus, when American public diplomacy talks about bringing democracy to Islamic societies, this is seen [by Muslims] as no more than selfserving hypocrisy... No public relations campaigns can save America from flawed policies.
This is the message of prestigious experts within the Pentagon itself! But their warning was totally neglected, because real democracy doesn't fit into the American foreign policy since the end of World War II. It's the oil-interests which dictate American foreign policy in the Middle East.
This policy has been formulated by Geoge Kennan, the architect of the American containment policy. He pointed out that as an empire the USA doesn't have much choice, since:
"We have about 50% of the world's wealth, but only 6.3% of its population. ... In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity. ... To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. ... We should cease to talk about vague and ... unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better."
—George F. Kennan, Policy Planning Study 23 (PPS23), Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS), 1948
At this moment we see the total bankruptcy of this policy and the fact that the US has no viable alternative for their ongoing support of tyrannies.