Do we live in a binary world where everything is either all-good or all-bad? I think not! There are innumerable shades of grey in between. The problem with today's geo-political scenario is that the myriad shades of gray often present a very jarring set-up to peaceful co-existence.
There are 4 types of administrative mechanisms that drive national and trans-national politics: democratic, socialist, autocratic and religious.
Religious governance is most conspicuous in the middle-east, where Islamic code of conduct is applied on all and sundry. While some regimes impost strict interpretations of the Quran and simply refuse to inch forward in ensuring human values are being imposed, others are more moderate and tolerate some degree of liberty.
Socialism (closely associated with communism) is a failed institution. However, it's still a thriving dogma for the scant fanatics who still swear by it. Trying to seriously establish a utopian society where equality of the masses was ensured, it simply overlooked some common human traits...like individuality, competitive spirit and personal aspirations. This critical flaw was the downfall of this otherwise not-so-bad an institution. Communist regimes have created dictatorial monsters, widespread corruption, stifling of creativity and ingenuity, economic stagnation...and a lack of individual identity. Indeed, repression of the human desire is a common trait.
Autocracy in modern times has often been the offspring of communism, especially in modern times. The erstwhile Soviet Union, China, erstwhile Romania, Cuba and North Korea are all exemplifications of communism giving way to autocracy. And each bears the scars of human rights being grossly violated. Each bears testimonial to repression of the free will.
Democracy is by far the most fault-free institution of governance we've ever conceived for ourselves. Unfortunately, its principles are at odds with those of the others, resulting in a constant conflict of interests. The US has been an economic superpower primarily because its democratic fabric creates the right environs for the fledgling of individual and collective human creativity and ingenuity. While much of the rest of the world has been grappling under its own problems owing to flawed and archaic institutions of governance, the west has forged ahead refining and fine-tuning its democratic values.
Obviously, the disparity that springs from economic and political differences can be very insidious. Indeed, the west has often been a victim of its own success. The US is well aware of this, and has thus embarked on promulgating the virtues of democracy in nations that seem nowhere close to taking the initiative in embracing it. In its zealousness, it has often used alibis that have been very disruptive to regional strategies of the host nation. Sowing the seeds of democracy may be easy, but nurturing it and seeing to it that it's able to thrive on its own may be a different ballgame altogether. After all, when you have a civilization raised on principles that are alien to yours, it's difficult for them to appreciate your virtues. Paranoia is rampant.
The Bush administration has been on a hyperdrive trying to forcefully inject democratic values into archaic societies. The tribulations, not unexpectedly, have been innumerable. Bush bashing has become a popular pastime even in his home state. I personally believe the devil should be given his due. He may have come up with fanciful excuses for waging wars against Afghanistan and Iraq, but the idea behind inducing democratic values within until-now repressive regimes cannot be discounted.
Here's the problem: When you try to infuse values contrary to what an entire civilization has been fed upon, you'll be branded as an intruder trying to meddle in its internal affairs...an allegation not entirely without merit. However, the widening rift between human rights being secured and violated creates serious disparities, something that will be a serious hindrance to global progress. To make matters worse, there'll be wisecracks who'll know precisely why you often fail in your endeavor...and advocate the middle path. Embrace his suggestion, and someone else springs up who'll be even smarter, concoct his own postulate and come up with his home-grown middlepath. It's a vicious cycle. Such people only add nuisance value and should be overlooked.
Bush may have assumed a very confrontational stance, but I feel more secure being guardianed by his clairvoyance.