The problems with Bush’s approach to democratic reform in the region run deeper than a lack of seriousness or poor execution. The core problem lies in the administration’s clear contempt for Arab public opinion, a contempt which is keenly felt by those Arab moderates who actually share the goals of political, economic and cultural reform. The administration is divided between hawks, who believe that Arabs respect force and can be either browbeaten into submission or else easily repressed by friendly dictators; and neoconservatives, who believe that greater democracy will naturally produce pro-American attitudes. Both theories have been painfully disproven over the last few years, as repeated demonstrations of American strength combined with soaring democracy rhetoric have produced only ever-greater levels of anti-American sentiment. But faced with clear evidence of failure, the administration refuses to change course.
There are a few other good passages in that piece, it's worth reading.