Me too...I might have said this here before, so I hope I am not repeating myself, but I think for people in 2015, it is hard to remember how triumphal the 1990s were, how inevitable total Westernization seemed to be, and how surprising that made 9/11.
There is a list of statements made by Douglas Coupland in 1995 that would be shocking to people in 1975 (which was a copypasted node on E2, many years ago), One of them was:
"Iranian field hands plan their
days around the satellite
broadcast of a mediocre
American TV show about
lifeguards in bikinis ·"
I think that it was a pretty widespread attitude that most of the Middle East was an area that was almost comically ripe to accept all of the bangles of Western culture. People in the US didn't see them as rivals, as an existential threat, because big sections of the country were more wrapped up in the internal movements of US culture. And even after 9/11, for a long time, there was the idea that this was just a roadbump, and that Westernization was still inevitable. That didn't really start to go away until...the IED campaign of 2006? Or so.
But people have kind of anachronized the whole thing where they are remembering the entire "clash of civilizations" narrative going back further than it does.