Democracy is an end-state not a cure-all. American officials need to get used to the fact that countries like Iraq and Brazil won’t make the same choices as Americans do, just because they’re allowed to vote. Their culture won’t let them.
We should settle for a government that provides food, electricity, adequate security and education. And if the government doesn’t plunder the people’s money, that’s a big plus, too. To ask more of democratic elections will urge intervention in unalterable and dangerous places, like Afghanistan.