Good article about the state of freedom around the world: The Limits of Democracy
2006 was a bad year for freedom. I totally agree with his analysis about Bush’s goals. It’s just not feasible to attack and invade countries with the hopes of quickly installing a democratic government where none existed before. Democracy takes more than just voting infrastructure. It takes commitment from the vast majority of a society and a certain level of maturity, for lack of a better term. Democracies are relatively fragile and can’t necessarily be thrown on top of an unstable society.
With Iraq it seems a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem. People assume the civil war is caused by not having power sharing agreements ironed out, therefore feel the answer is to keep pushing the democratic government. But, the government is paralyzed due to the civil war. Even worse: the assumption above about the cause of the civil war is at least partially false. The factions are fighting at least partially just because they can. No political deal will solve that, although it would likely lessen it.