Bush speaking at the National Newspaper Assn.... He should do more appearances like this, with questions from knowledgeable people who don't belong to the Beltway Treason Corps. When he gets passionate about certain things, he's mighty persuasive. "Our main threat is al-Qaeda [not any particular nation]" is a good point and a reassuring statement. On education, he's both passionate and correct.
Unfortunately, his basic Wilsonian notion of spreading democracy is a theory that history doesn't support, and the current experimental evidence isn't highly positive. What makes nations peaceful is not elections but contentment, a sense of relative equality, and usefulness.
When young males feel both useful and necessary, they stay calm. When that doesn't apply, young males get wild. When young males get wild, governments have a choice: use that energy for military adventures or crack down violently.
Al-Qaeda is a sort of short-circuit whereby young males from a warrior tradition, equipped with great inherited oil-wealth [i.e. maximal wildness and maximal uselessness] can spend tremendous amounts of energy and have a tremendous effect on the world, without involving a national government. Arab nations appreciate this short-circuit, because it simultaneously works on behalf of the Caliphate and spares them the trouble of planning their own military adventures.
The best way to avoid the basic problem is (1) Encourage traditional marriage in which the male both can
provide for his wife and kids. (2) Insure jobs are available for those young providers. (3) Minimize unearned income, whether from oil or welfare.
None of this has any automatic connection to democracy; if there is a causal relationship, it's backwards from the Wilson / Bush model. In fact, a decent society, with the mechanisms needed for democracy, tends to grow under these same conditions. The conditions must come first, not the elections.