Lawrence of Arabia has a great post on the failure of American and European foreign policy in the Middle East.
The failure, then, is the inability of the United States, among others, to recognize and articulate that it does not want democratization but liberalization in the middle east: something that is not tied, initially in any case, to a particular form of choosing one's rulers. Monarchies, dictatorships, oligarchies, etc. are all capable of being liberal, and it was only the liberal revolutions in France in and the United States that made democracy something more than the tyranny of the mob (and that only after a great deal of bloodshed at the hand of the mob in France).I'm a strong believer in democracy, that is, the right and duty of the citizen to be involved in the governing of the society. Of course, elections is a very small part in this. True democracy is about the individual haveing the possibility to control his or her life. This is exactly what liberty is about.