The Liberal Power

March 2003
New Republic;3/3/2003, Vol. 228 Issue 8, p7
The debate about Iraq is really a debate about the impact of the United States on the world. There are two characteristics of the U.S. that have impressed themselves most forcefully upon contemporaries: power and liberalism. The primary task of the U.S. government and every citizen is to find a way to bring these strengths into some sort of harmony with each other. Since there was never a state so consecrated to technology, the quality of U.S. power also relentlessly grows. The enormous relative advantage of the U.S. as a state is matched by the enormous relative advantage of the U.S. as a society. Power does not make the U.S. right, and virtue does not make it innocent. The U.S. is a more decent place, but not always.


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