One of the most wrongheaded notions of neoconservatives and those influenced by their ideas, including President Bush and Rush Limbaugh is that everyone wants freedom. Or, as Rush puts it, "the natural yearning of the human heart is for freedom." Nonsense, I say.
Consider the story out of Afghanistan of a man who has been sentenced to death for being a Christian. I could have sworn that all the terrorism and violence in the Middle East was caused by a few evil dictators, and that democracy would end that all. How could this happen? This couldn't have anything to do with Islam, could it?
Of course it could. Terrorism and lack of religious freedom are the products of ideology, specifically Islamic ideology. They are not the products of economic conditions or a lack of democracy. In fact, democracy is the product of certain cultural characteristics, including willingness to tolerate those you disagree with. Imposing different government structures will not change these underlying cultural factors, at least not much.
Democracy also requires a basic support for freedom amongst the people. But does this actually exist? This is one of the many instances where confusion results from ambiguous meaning. What does it mean to say that everyone wants freedom? If all it means is that people don't like getting raped and tortured, then this is certainly true. But how much freedom do people really want? If people really want lots of freedom, it's hard to explain why they put up with a government that takes half their money. Programs like Social Security that take your money by force and then give some of it back couldn't exist if people didn't support them. Examining many examples throughout history shows that the amount of freedom that people want is fairly limited.
There is another ambiguity. Ponder this: Did Saddam Hussein want freedom? Presumably, he didn't want other people telling him what to do, right? By now, the problem should be clear. There is a big difference between wanting freedom for yourself and wanting freedom for everyone. Lots of people who don't want anyone telling them what to do have no problem with wanting to tell other people what to do. Unfortunately, only a relative handful of conservatives and libertarians really want freedom for everyone. But this is what is required for a "democracy" to last.
Otherwise, people will soon discover that they can rob their neighbors at the ballot box. Then government power and spending will grow larger and larger until government either collapses or becomes tyrannical. That's how the Weimar republic, a democracy, collapsed. Unfortunately, we are heading down the same road.