The folly of forming a foreign policy around the notion that democratic elections will result in freedom is becoming obvious. In Afganistan, a man who converted from Islam to Christianity may be sentenced to death. This is the penalty proscribed for leaving Islam by Sharia Law.
In Iraq, Ayatollah al-Sistani has declared that all homosexuals must be put to death.
According to him the Koran calls for the death penalty.
Cuanas has a post on both stories here.
While elections are necessary to form a representative government, they are not the essence of freedom. Rights and a seperation of powers and other things are even more important. Otherwise the people will only elect their next dictator who will promptly suspend the constitution and then your're right back to square one with another dictatorship.
I think Bush's refusal to demand these two nations install a rights based society results from a lack of moral clarity about the rightness of such a society. Because his religion compells him to believe that need trumps rights, he is reluctent to "impose" a rights based society on them in the belief that they should be free to vote on how to address needs.
He also seems to be unaware that our founders wanted nothing to do with "democracy." They wanted a constitutional republic that recognized mans' rights and that is what they achieved. It is this unawareness that causes him to push "democratic elections" as if it will bring the same freedom and prosperity we have. It won't. At least not until Islam is brought into the 21st century and judging by the two stories above, that won't be happening anytime soon.
So, what should Bush do? Iraq will never be stable unless the endless flow of terrorists from Syria and Iran is stopped. Tehran and Damascus need to be bombed followed by the announcement that the survivors will set up a free society and "don't make us come in and do it for you." There doesn't need to be any American boots on the ground.
Then Bush needs to announce the form that his new "forward strategy of freedom" will take. This form has to be specific foreigh policies that will reward moves to freedom and punish moves towards dictatorship. Nothing less will do. Otherwise democracy will just deteriorate into theocratic dictatorship.