Web Exclusive: Democracy and Empire
“There can be a difference in the whole idea of what the United States is about, which then dictates what you do. My view is that the United States is about securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. Insofar as that service is a model for others to emulate, fine… The process of trying to export our democracy abroad through military force is going to destroy our own democracy at home… Other people would think, no, the purpose of the United States is to go to every square inch of the planet and bring them what our conception of liberty is.”
What do you think?
“The Cold War made the United States an empire. And some people – I was one of them – thought that after the Cold War ended we would, to some degree, come home. The Clinton years, the 90s, were an interesting experiment in that. We had the Bosnian genocide, we had the Rwandan genocide… [Some said] ‘Gosh, America needs to stand for something more… It has to prevent this kind of thing.” And many of them were essentially convinced by President Bush’s arguments that we have to go in and remove the dictators. I thought they were profoundly wrong, and I agree that the United States, insofar as [it] becomes a power that intervenes around the world and fights wars of choice, becomes something wholly other than what the founders imagined it to be.”