Among others, George W. Bush and his National Security Adviser, Condoleeza Rice, seem to believe that democracy means that the public has the right to protest government policy, but not set it.
Thus, we see Bush and his Vice-President, and his entire administration meeting in secret with their attorneys, their energy consultants, their base of "have-mores" and setting policies that harm the public interest and eventually enrage some of the population, who then are allowed to protest. Why? Because, after all, the U.S. is a "democracy".
Condoleeza Rice apparently feels that the same sort of operation of democracy in Iraq is an improvement over the reign of Saddam Hussein. Paradoxically, Saddam Hussein set up a fine education system for Iraqis, gave them good medical care, a high standard of living for the region, but did not tolerate dissent. Rice thinks the Iraqis are better off now, with the new right to protest their significantly deteriorated living conditions, because Rice believes in democracy for Iraq under an appointed government.
Bush and his crew believe that democracy is a commodity that is installed by military force. They brought democracy to Iraq with F-15 fighters and M-1 Tanks and all the other hardware of war in the U.S. arsenal. It was as philosophically simple as removing a U.S. installed dictator and replacing him with a U.S. installed committee of mostly exiled Iraqis. The Iraqi people, according to U.S. doctrine, are not to be a significant player in Iraqi democracy.
Instead of democracy being a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, American democracy has evolved into a government over the people, with dissent tolerated as long as it is not effective. In the U.S. style democracy, the people are deceived, lied to, and manipulated into acceptance of policies which are against their own interest, or which have significant side affects that are hidden until irreversible. In the U.S. model of democracy, the governing elite decides for the public which policies are appropriate, and the public is manipulated through endless propaganda into believing that public debt is good, that transfer of national wealth from the many to the few is appropriate, and that war is necessary to make peace. The public, in its stupor and unquestioning acceptance, is often not even conscious of its own lost freedom and increased injury.
The U.S. government wants to do for the people of Iraq what it has done for the people of America, but without the economic benefits for the Iraqis. The U.S. government wants to exploit the national wealth of Iraq for the interests of American and multinational corporations, and then encourages Iraqis to feel that they are better off with "democracy", but not control over their own welfare and economics. The question remains, are the Iraqi people capable of being duped as the American people have been?