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Introduction to U.S. `Neo-Conservatism'. 26/10/2005

associated, in a small way, with the Weekly Standard, which is known as a redoubt of "neoconservatism."

Introduction to U.S. `Neo-Conservatism'

Compiled by Jeppe P. Trautner for the European Studies Simulation Game European Research Unit, Aalborg University Version 7, Oct. 25, 2005

But what the heck is a neocon anyway in 2003? A friend of mine suggests it means the kind of right-winger a liberal wouldn' t be embarrassed to have over for cocktails. That' s as good a definition as any, since the term has clearly come unmoored from its original meaning. 'Mugged by Reality' The original neocons were a band of liberal intellectuals who rebelled against the Democratic Party' s leftward drift on defense issues in the 1970s. At first the neocons clustered around Sen. Henry "Scoop" Jackson, a Democrat, but then they aligned themselves with Ronald Reagan and the Republicans, who promised to confront Soviet expansionism. The neocons, in the famous formulation of one of their leaders, Irving Kristol, were "liberals mugged by reality." Well, I haven' t been mugged lately. I haven' t even been accosted. I like to think I' ve been in touch with reality from day one, since I' ve never been a Trotskyite, a Maoist or even a Democrat. There' s no "neo" in my conservatism. I don' t deserve much credit for this, I might add, since I grew up in the 1980s, when conservatism was cool. Many of the original neocons, by contrast, grew up in the days when Republicans were derided as "the stupid party." Some of them remain registered Democrats. But I' ve always identified with the Grand Old Party. The same might be said of the other Standard-bearers, even those (like Bill Kristol and John Podhoretz) who are the offspring of famous neocons. They, too, have been right from the start. So why do I, and others of my ilk, get tagged as "neocons"? Some of the labelers have obvious ulterior motives. Patrick Buchanan, for one, claims that his views represent the true faith of the American right. He wants to drive the neocon infidels from the temple (or, more accurately, from the church). Unfortunately for Mr. Buchanan, his version of conservatism -- nativist, protectionist, isolationist -attracts few followers, as evidenced by his poor showings in Republican presidential primaries and the scant influence of his inaptly named magazine, the American Conservative. Buchananism isn' t American conservatism as we Page 1 of 30

This is an introduction to current `Neocon' thinking, mainly as expressed by U.S. Neo-Conservatives. (Copyright belongs to the authors and the sources cited)

List of Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Max Boot: What the Heck Is a Neocon? 1 Lisa Anauradha Singh: Neocons love country with a convert's zeal 3 Irving Kristol: The Neoconservative Persuasion ... 4 Lexington: Philosophers and kings 7 Douglas J. Feith: Strategy and the Idea of Freedom 8 John Patrick Diggins : How Reagan Beat the Neocons 12 Charles Krauthammer: Democratic Realism 14 David Brooks: Loudly, With a Big Stick 23 David Cameron: Re-asserting faith in our shared British values 24


Max Boot: What the Heck Is a Neocon?

Max Boot ( Wall Street Journal. December 30, 2002 I have been called many names in my career -- few of them printable -- but the most mystifying has to be "neocon." I suppose I get labeled thus because I am

Introduction to U.S. `Neo-Conservatism'. 26/10/2005

understand it today. It' s paleoconservatism, a poisonous brew that was last popular when Father Charles Coughlin, not Rush Limbaugh, was the leading conservative broadcaster in America. When Buchananites toss around "neoconservative" -- and cite names like Wolfowitz and Cohen -- it sometimes sounds as if what they really mean is "Jewish conservative." This is a malicious slur on two levels. First, many of the leading neocons aren' t Jewish; Jeane Kirkpatrick, Bill Bennett, Father John Neuhaus and Michael Novak aren' t exactly menorah lighters. Second, support for Israel -- a key tenet of neoconservatism -- is hardly confined to Jews; its strongest constituency in America happens to be among evangelical Christians. So is "neoconservatism" worthless as a political label? Not entirely. In social policy, it stands for a broad sympathy with a traditionalist agenda and a rejection of extreme libertarianism. Neocons have led the charge to combat some of the wilder excesses of academia and the arts. But there is hardly an orthodoxy laid down by Neocon Central. I, for one, am not eager to ban either abortion or cloning, two hot-button issues on the religious right. On economic matters, neocons -- like pretty much all other Republicans, except for Mr. Buchanan and his five followers -- embrace a laissez-faire line, though they are not as troubled by the size of the welfare state as libertarians are. But it is not really domestic policy that defines neoconservatism. This was a movement founded on foreign policy, and it is still here that neoconservatism carries the greatest meaning, even if its original raison d' être -- opposition to communism -- has disappeared. Pretty much all conservatives today agree on the need for a strong, vigorous foreign policy. There is no constituency for isolationism on the right, outside the Buchananite fever swamps. The question is how to define our interventionism. One group of conservatives believes that we should use armed force only to defend our vital national interests, narrowly defined. They believe that we should remove, or at least disarm, Saddam Hussein, but not occupy Iraq for any substantial period afterward. The idea of bringing democracy to the Middle East they denounce as a

mad, hubristic dream likely to backfire with tragic consequences. This view, which goes under the somewhat self-congratulatory moniker of "realism," is championed by foreign-policy mandarins like Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft and James Baker III. Many conservatives think, however, that "realism" presents far too crabbed a view of American power and responsibility. They suggest that we need to promote our values, for the simple reason that liberal democracies rarely fight one another, sponsor terrorism, or use weapons of mass destruction. If we are to avoid another 9/11, they argue, we need to liberalize the Middle East -- a massive undertaking, to be sure, but better than the unspeakable alternative. And if this requires occupying Iraq for an extended period, so be it; we did it with Germany, Japan and Italy, and we can do it again. The most prominent champions of this view inside the administration are Vice President Dick Cheney and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. Their agenda is known as "neoconservatism," though a more accurate term might be "hard Wilsonianism." Advocates of this view embrace Woodrow Wilson' s championing of American ideals but reject his reliance on international organizations and treaties to accomplish our objectives. ("Soft Wilsonians," a k a liberals, place their reliance, in Charles Krauthammer' s trenchant phrase, on paper, not power.) Like Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan, "hard Wilsonians" want to use American might to promote American ideals. The Good Fight This is, in case you haven' t guessed, my own view too. So I guess that makes me a neocon. It' s a designation I' m willing -- nay, honored -- to accept, if it comes with a caveat: Neoconservatism -- like other political descriptions, such as "liberal" and "conservative" -- has entirely lost its original meaning. It no longer means that you' re a Johnny-come-lately to the good fight, and -- contrary to Mr. Buchanan' s aspersions -- neocons are no less conservative than anyone else on the right.

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Actually that' s an understatement. Neocons are closer to the mainstream of the Republican Party today than any competing faction. During the 2000 campaign, President Bush sounded very much like a realist, with his suspicions of "nation building" and his warnings about American hubris. Then along came 9/11. The National Security Strategy that he released in September -- which calls for "encouraging free and open societies on every continent" -- sounds as if it could have come straight from the pages of Commentary magazine, the neocon bible. I suppose that makes George W. Bush a neocon. If it' s good enough for the president, it' s good enough for me. MAX BOOT


Lisa Anauradha Singh: Neocons love country with a convert's zeal

Neoconservatives product of a slow shift to the right. LISA ANURADHA SINGH ( Date published: 3/30/2003 AS PAT BUCHANAN sees it, the conservative movement has been "hijacked." It is not the one that he gushed about in "Right From the Beginning," his 1988 memoir that chronicled how he imbibed with his mother's milk that God is in His Heaven, that America--the world's greatest country--is for Americans, and that everyone must stand on his own two feet. Learning his catechism, Buchanan grew into a conservative order shaped by Catholicism and masculine virtues, and later became a respected voice for his articulation of the conservative consensus before and during the Reagan years. But during the Reagan administration, the very definition of "conservative" really did undergo an important shift, as a new group of intellectual leaders--who soon became the object of Buchanan's scorn--joined the right wing of politics and political thought. These "neoconservatives," as they came to be known, are a group of intellectuals, many--though not all--of whom are Jewish, former "red-diaper baby" liberals

who were "mugged by reality" and moved rightward over a period of many years. For the oldest among them, the first crack in their leftist armor was the HitlerStalin pact, which subsequently shed damning light on how American Communists and fellow travelers, who had been fierce pro-war anti-fascists, slavishly followed the Communist Party line and suddenly wanted to give peace a chance. The future neoconservatives became appropriately outraged by that spinelessness and also by the Stalinist massacres to which many of America's cultural elite turned a blind eye. For most future neoconservatives, other points of disillusionment were the radicalization of liberalism by the antiwar and student movements during the Vietnam War (many of the neoconservatives-to-be were professors) and the willingness of the students to lie and adopt totalitarian tactics themselves and embrace counterculture types such as poet Allen Ginsberg. Most of all, it was the liberals' embrace of all this that led future neoconservatives such as Norman Podhoretz and Irving Kristol to rethink their political positions, and the movement that they and their colleagues founded has, from the Nixon administration on, been a source of government officials and advisers. Today, the group is well-represented in the Bush administration and finds voice in publications such as The Weekly Standard and Commentary and on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal. But for Buchanan, these neoconservatives (he tends to single out the Jewish ones) are just a bunch of "ex-liberals, socialists, and Trotskyists who signed on in the name of anti-Communism and now control our foundations and set the limits of permissible dissent." Or more colorfully, "Like the fleas who conclude that they are steering the dog, their relationship to the [conservative] movement has always been parasitical." In other words, yes, it's commendable that these academic, social-science types have finally reached some conservative conclusions, but they must mind their manners and take a back seat in a movement whose purer voices are nativist Roman Catholics (like Buchanan), or at least Anglo-Catholics. And many neoconservatives (the likes of the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan excepted) are neither. This past year, amid growing frustration about those "fleas," Buchanan founded a magazine, The American Conservative. In a recent cover piece, he charged that a "neoconservative clique" is bringing down America because this group, like most

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Jews, have an overriding interest in Israel's security, which they will push at the expense of what should be their first loyalty, to the United States. Never mind that there are many non-Jewish conservatives who see the current war as being in America's and the West's self-interest. (And if it benefits Israel, too, is that a point against it? That is what Buchanan suggests.) Beyond Buchanan's rage, the main issue is that he's wrong in his charge that neoconservatives don't espouse conservative principles out of deeply felt conviction. Yes, it is true that neoconservatives are conservative upstarts. They were not "right from the beginning." As for the Jewish ones, their parents and grandparents were largely uneducated, alienated immigrants from Eastern Europe. Centuries of Christian anti-Semitism had left them suspicious of--and not a little hostile to-- religion. When they came to America--the new land--many of them raised their children as liberals, socialists, and Trotskyites. In fact, let us add to Buchanan's litany of infamy: There were also many who were atheist believers in "social science." But when they were mugged by reality, they did something unusual: They seriously, studiously, and fearlessly re-thought everything that had given coherence to their lives--and they admitted that they had been wrong. Many of them literally went back to school, and all of them went back to the sources of our American civilization, Plato and Aristotle, Montesquieu and Locke, Jefferson and Lincoln--and the Bible. The Jews among them especially love this country like no one else. Their intellectual grasp of what we stand for is unmatched by any other political group, and their hearts are full of gratitude for America's entry into World War II and the liberation of Europe and the Nazi death camps. I do not believe that there is an atheist among them. Though the "Last Man" is regnant over Europe where, as Nietzsche said, they have "killed God," America, as the neoconservatives know, is different. They have learned for themselves that Americans cannot kill God, and they also believe fully--in a manner both considered and ardent--that those rights that we cherish as citizens of the United States of America are the rights with which we are "endowed by their Creator." The truth is that neonconservative policies are driven by a rational love of country. These thinkers have learned to appreciate America profoundly. More so than Buchanan, who, as the neoconservative star ascended, devolved after the Reagan and Cold War years into an unabashed anti-Semitic mouthpiece for

America First, the movement founded in 1940 to oppose American entry into War War II. Buchanan's ideas about America are pessimistic and crabbed. For him, America is not a City on a Hill, not a light unto the nations, but a country that should retreat from the world. Now, surely, he must know that it is not just the influence but also the strength and depth of understanding of the neoconservatives that is stronger than his. And he is fuming, Who are these damned Yids to be supplanting me? The thought is driving him crazy, and he can't stand it: Those who weren't "right from the beginning" now love more deeply than he. LISA ANURADHA SINGH is an editorial writer for The Free Lance-Star.


Irving Kristol: The Neoconservative Persuasion ...

Weekly Standard, 25 Aug 03, by Irving Kristol ( lw.asp) * Irving Kristol is author of "Neoconservatism: The Autobiography of an Idea." "[President Bush is] an engaging person, but I think for some reason he's been captured by the neoconservatives around him." --Howard Dean, U.S. News & World Report, August 11, 2003 WHAT EXACTLY IS NEOCONSERVATISM? Journalists, and now even presidential candidates, speak with an enviable confidence on who or what is "neoconservative," and seem to assume the meaning is fully revealed in the name. Those of us who are designated as "neocons" are amused, flattered, or dismissive, depending on the context. It is reasonable to wonder: Is there any "there" there? Even I, frequently referred to as the "godfather" of all those neocons, have had my moments of wonderment. A few years ago I said (and, alas, wrote) that neoconservatism had had its own distinctive qualities in its early years, but by now had been absorbed into the mainstream of American conservatism. I was wrong,

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and the reason I was wrong is that, ever since its origin among disillusioned liberal intellectuals in the 1970s, what we call neoconservatism has been one of those intellectual undercurrents that surface only intermittently. It is not a "movement," as the conspiratorial critics would have it. Neoconservatism is what the late historian of Jacksonian America, Marvin Meyers, called a "persuasion," one that manifests itself over time, but erratically, and one whose meaning we clearly glimpse only in retrospect. Viewed in this way, one can say that the historical task and political purpose of neoconservatism would seem to be this: to convert the Republican party, and American conservatism in general, against their respective wills, into a new kind of conservative politics suitable to governing a modern democracy. That this new conservative politics is distinctly American is beyond doubt. There is nothing like neoconservatism in Europe, and most European conservatives are highly skeptical of its legitimacy. The fact that conservatism in the United States is so much healthier than in Europe, so much more politically effective, surely has something to do with the existence of neoconservatism. But Europeans, who think it absurd to look to the United States for lessons in political innovation, resolutely refuse to consider this possibility. Neoconservatism is the first variant of American conservatism in the past century that is in the "American grain." It is hopeful, not lugubrious [sad]; forwardlooking, not nostalgic; and its general tone is cheerful, not grim or dyspeptic. Its 20th-century heroes tend to be TR [Teddy Roosevelt], FDR [Franklin Delano Roosevelt], and Ronald Reagan. Such Republican and conservative worthies as Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, and Barry Goldwater are politely overlooked. Of course, those worthies are in no way overlooked by a large, probably the largest, segment of the Republican party, with the result that most Republican politicians know nothing and could not care less about neoconservatism. Nevertheless, they cannot be blind to the fact that neoconservative policies, reaching out beyond the traditional political and financial base, have helped make the very idea of political conservatism more acceptable to a majority of American voters. Nor has it passed official notice that it is the neoconservative public policies, not the traditional Republican ones, that result in popular Republican presidencies. One of these policies, most visible and

controversial, is (1) cutting tax rates in order to stimulate steady economic growth. This policy was not invented by neocons, and it was not the particularities of tax cuts that interested them, but rather the (2) steady focus on economic growth. Neocons are (3) familiar with intellectual history and (4) aware that it is only in the last two centuries that democracy has become a respectable option among political thinkers. In earlier times, democracy meant an inherently turbulent political regime, with the "have-nots" and the "haves" engaged in a perpetual and utterly destructive class struggle. It was only the prospect of economic growth in which everyone prospered, if not equally or simultaneously, that gave modern democracies their legitimacy and durability. The cost of this emphasis on economic growth has been an (attitude toward public finance that is far less risk averse than is the case among more traditional conservatives. Neocons would prefer not to have large budget deficits, but it is in the nature of democracy--because it seems to be in the nature of human nature-- that political demagogy will frequently result in economic recklessness, so that one sometimes must shoulder budgetary deficits as the cost (temporary, one hopes) of pursuing economic growth. It is a basic assumption of neoconservatism that, as a consequence of the spread of affluence among all classes, a property-owning and tax-paying population will, in time, become less vulnerable to egalitarian illusions and demagogic appeals and more sensible about the fundamentals of economic reckoning. This leads to the issue of the role of the state. Neocons do not like the concentration of services in the welfare state and are happy to study alternative ways of delivering these services. But they are impatient with the Hayekian notion that we are on "the road to serfdom." Neocons do not feel that kind of alarm or anxiety about the growth of the state in the past century, seeing it as natural, indeed inevitable. Because they tend to be more interested in history than economics or sociology, they know that the 19th-century idea, so neatly propounded by Herbert Spencer in his "The Man Versus the State," was a historical eccentricity. People have always preferred strong government to weak government, although they certainly have no liking for anything that smacks of overly intrusive government. Neocons feel at home in today's America to a degree that more traditional conservatives do not. Though they find much to be critical

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about, they tend to seek intellectual guidance in the democratic wisdom of Tocqueville, rather than in the Tory nostalgia of, say, Russell Kirk. But it is only to a degree that neocons are comfortable in modern America. The steady decline in our democratic culture, sinking to new levels of vulgarity, does unite neocons with traditional conservatives--though not with those libertarian conservatives who are conservative in economics but unmindful of the culture. The upshot is a quite unexpected alliance between neocons, who include a fair proportion of secular intellectuals, and religious traditionalists. They are united on issues concerning the quality of education, the relations of church and state, the regulation of pornography, and the like, all of which they regard as proper candidates for the government's attention. And since the Republican party now has a substantial base among the religious, this gives neocons a certain influence and even power. Because religious conservatism is so feeble in Europe, the neoconservative potential there is correspondingly weak. AND THEN, of course, there is foreign policy, the area of American politics where neoconservatism has recently been the focus of media attention. This is surprising since there is no set of neoconservative beliefs concerning foreign policy, only a set of attitudes derived from historical experience. (The favorite neoconservative text on foreign affairs, thanks to professors Leo Strauss of Chicago and Donald Kagan of Yale, is Thucydides on the Peloponnesian War.) These attitudes can be summarized in the following "theses" (as a Marxist would say): First, patriotism is a natural and healthy sentiment and should be encouraged by both private and public institutions. Precisely because we are a nation of immigrants, this is a powerful American sentiment. Second, world government is a terrible idea since it can lead to world tyranny. International institutions that point to an ultimate world government should be regarded with the deepest suspicion. Third, statesmen should, above all, have the ability to distinguish friends from enemies. This is not as easy as it sounds, as the history of the Cold War revealed. The number of intelligent men who could not count the Soviet Union as an enemy, even though this was its own self-definition, was absolutely astonishing. Finally, for a great power, the "national interest" is not a geographical term, except for fairly prosaic matters like trade and environmental regulation. A smaller

nation might appropriately feel that its national interest begins and ends at its borders, so that its foreign policy is almost always in a defensive mode. A larger nation has more extensive interests. And large nations, whose identity is ideological, like the Soviet Union of yesteryear and the United States of today, inevitably have ideological interests in addition to more material concerns. Barring extraordinary events, the United States will always feel obliged to defend, if possible, a democratic nation under attack from nondemocratic forces, external or internal. That is why it was in our national interest to come to the defense of France and Britain in World War II. That is why we feel it necessary to defend Israel today, when its survival is threatened. No complicated geopolitical calculations of national interest are necessary. Behind all this is a fact: the incredible military superiority of the United States visà-vis the nations of the rest of the world, in any imaginable combination. This superiority was planned by no one, and even today there are many Americans who are in denial. To a large extent, it all happened as a result of our bad luck. During the 50 years after World War II, while Europe was at peace and the Soviet Union largely relied on surrogates to do its fighting, the United States was involved in a whole series of wars: the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Kosovo conflict, the Afghan War, and the Iraq War. The result was that our military spending expanded more or less in line with our economic growth, while Europe's democracies cut back their military spending in favor of social welfare programs. The Soviet Union spent profusely but wastefully, so that its military collapsed along with its economy. Suddenly, after two decades during which "imperial decline" and "imperial overstretch" were the academic and journalistic watchwords, the United States emerged as uniquely powerful. The "magic" of compound interest over half a century had its effect on our military budget, as did the cumulative scientific and technological research of our armed forces. With power come responsibilities, whether sought or not, whether welcome or not. And it is a fact that if you have the kind of power we now have, either you will find opportunities to use it, or the world will discover them for you.

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The older, traditional elements in the Republican party have difficulty coming to terms with this new reality in foreign affairs, just as they cannot reconcile economic conservatism with social and cultural conservatism. But by one of those accidents historians ponder, our current president and his administration turn out to be quite at home in this new political environment, although it is clear they did not anticipate this role any more than their party as a whole did. As a result, neoconservatism began enjoying a second life, at a time when its obituaries were still being published. IRVING KRISTOL

learned studies of political theorists that are variously described as seminal and utterly opaque. But his real talent was for teaching. He taught at the University of Chicago for two decades, and produced a small army of devoted pupils who spread the word. One reason why Strauss is in the news is because so many of his admirers are now important figures in conservative Washington. Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defence, invariably tops the list, but other Straussians in or around the administration include Abram Shulsky, director of the Pentagon' s Office of Special Plans, John Walters, the drug tsar, and Leon Kass, the head of the president' s council on bioethics. Irving Kristol, one of the first neocons, has passed the creed down to his son Bill, the ubiquitous editor of the Weekly Standard. Every July 4th, about 60 Washington Straussians have a picnic. The second reason why Strauss is so controversial is that a little selective quotation can be used to give his thinking a decidedly sinister tinge. Strauss emphasised both the fragility of democracy and the importance of intellectual elites. He was also a devotee of Plato, who famously argued that "philosopher kings" sometimes had to be willing to tell "noble lies" in order to keep the ignorant masses in line. The implication: Mr Wolfowitz and his fellow Straussians deliberately lied about Saddam Hussein' s nukes to advance their political cause. This is stretching it. Strauss was critical of democracy in much the same way that Winston Churchill was: he believed (unlike Plato) that it was the worst political system apart from all the others. He focused on the weaknesses of liberal democracy--particularly its habit of underestimating the dangers of tyranny-- precisely because he had seen the Weimar Republic destroyed at close hand. As for Mr Wolfowitz, he is a clever cove, but deputy defence secretaries don' t go around making the country' s foreign policy--particularly when they have men like Mr Rumsfeld and Mr Cheney sitting above them. Nor is Mr Wolfowitz a pure Straussian. He may have studied with Strauss' s alter ego, Allan Bloom, and even earned a walk-on part in Saul Bellow' s novel, "Ravelstein", but the biggest influence on his thinking was Albert Wohlstetter, a mathematician-cum-military strategist.


Lexington: Philosophers and kings

Jun 19th 2003 From The Economist print edition

A strange waltz involving George Bush, ancient Greece and a dead German thinker FROM the moment George Bush moved into the White House, the search has been on for the man (or woman) who is pulling his strings. Is the puppeteer Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld? Karl Rove or Condoleezza Rice? Big Oil or old-time religion? Each has had their spell in the spotlight. But now all are forgotten in the fuss about the most surprising suspect of all: Leo Strauss, a political philosopher who died in 1973 and wrote such page-turners as "Xenophon' s Socratic Discourse". In March the Executive Intelligence Review, an eccentric website run by Lyndon LaRouche, posted a profile of Strauss entitled "Fascist Godfather of the NeoCons". You might have thought that the article' s overheated language and conspiracy-mongering would have killed the argument. But since then a flotilla of respectable publications, from the New Yorker to Le Monde, have jumped on the bandwagon. Who on earth was Leo Strauss? The "Fascist Godfather of the Neo-Cons" was, in fact, a German Jew who fled the Holocaust to find a safe haven in the United States. He produced a series of

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So is the flap about Strauss a pointless waltz? Arguably, Mr LaRouche and the New Yorker have been looking in the wrong place. The true impact of all these Straussians walking the corridors of power is not really to do with telling noble fibs in diplomacy; it has to do with domestic policy. Having a Platonic relationship. No, really The rise of the Straussians suggests that American conservatism has shifted its focus from liberty to virtue. Ronald Reagan was surrounded with free-marketers in Adam Smith ties. Newt Gingrich regarded the government as a monster that needed to be beheaded. But Mr Bush is an intensely religious man who has no qualms about using big government to improve people' s behaviour. Strauss was an agnostic, but he also stressed the cultivation of personal virtue, and his followers (perhaps traducing him, and certainly outraging Plato) have argued that organised religion is a necessary buttress of civilisation. Strauss' s paternalist side would have warmed to the way that Mr Bush has expanded the Department of Education, has started promoting marriage through the Department of Health and Human Services and has toughened America' s drug policies. Straussians such as Mr Walters and Mr Kass have helped to clothe Mr Bush' s Christian instincts in the non-religious language of moral philosophy and practical policy. More than anything, however, the Straussians show what a strangely intellectual place Washington is. It may be led by a man who regarded Yale as a drinking competition (which he damn-near won). But it is a place where PhDs are a dime a dozen and where people seriously debate everything from "rules and tools for running an empire" (the topic of a seminar on June 16th) to the cultural contradictions of capitalism. In what other world capital, except perhaps Paris, could 60 Plato-worshipping politicos and academics have a picnic? The rise of the Straussians also illustrates an odd point about modern American conservatism. Despite all their bile about Old Europe, the American right has repeatedly found its inspiration in European thinkers. A few years ago, it was an Austrian libertarian called Friedrich Hayek. Now it is a German Jew who regarded

ancient Greece as the fountain of all wisdom. With European constitution-makers seeking inspiration in the Philadelphia Convention, and American conservatives embracing European philosophical tracts, perhaps transatlantic relations aren' t quite as bad as all that. LEXINGTON


Douglas J. Feith: Strategy and the Idea of Freedom

Douglas J. Feith, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Heritage Lecture November 24, 2003 My association with The Heritage Foundation goes back a ways, twenty-six years, to 1977, when you were still located on Stanton Park at 5th and C, Northeast. That was a time when we neo-cons, of which I was a junior member, and the folks we called the paleo-cons, made common cause: · To support beleaguered democracies, · To beleaguer the Soviet Empire, and · To advocate a US foreign policy of peace through strength. The Heritage Foundation helped create the alliance of the neo-cons, those of us who started our political lives as Democrats, and the old-fashioned conservatives. It was an alliance of the profoundest type, anchored in philosophical principles. It was not tactical, not a political marriage of convenience. The realignment of US politics that joined William Buckley with Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz ­ that bound together supporters of Barry Goldwater with supporters of Scoop Jackson and Hubert Humphrey ­ has helped change our country and the world. At home, it made the conservative slice of the political spectrum a lively place, intellectually scintillating, creative, ambitious to transform government, attractive to young people, and decidedly non-stodgy. Abroad, the makers of the Reagan Revolution ­ with the Heritage Foundation as a key node in the network ­ elevated the status of ideas as weapons in the arsenal of

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democracy. The Reaganites understood Realpolitik; they grasped the importance of guns and money and the other "hard" realities of world affairs. But they appreciated also the potency of the human desire of freedom. They saw the Cold War not as a balance-of-power exercise between two "superpowers" ­ much less an arms race between "two apes on a treadmill" ­ but as a noble fight of western liberal democracy against Soviet communist tyranny. They abraded conventional sensibilities by speaking of an "evil empire" and insisting that the truly representative voices in that empire were those of Lech Walesa, Vaclav Havel, Andrei Sakharov, Anatoly Sharansky and their fellow dissidents. This engagement in philosophical warfare, I need hardly remind folks at the Heritage Foundation, created no small controversy in the politics and diplomacy of the western world. President Reagan's talk of democracy and good-versus-evil and his exhortation to tear down the Berlin Wall were widely criticized, even ridiculed, as unsophisticated and de-stabilizing. But it's now widely understood as having contributed importantly to the greatest victory in world history: the collapse of Soviet communism and the liberation of the peoples of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe without a war. As we develop and execute our strategy today in the Global War on Terrorism, there is much to be learned from the Reagan era about the power of ideas. With President George W. Bush having just returned from Britain, I'd Like to recall the remarkable speech that President Reagan gave on June 8, 1982 to the British Parliament. In it, he challenged the pessimism about the future of liberty that was common in the 1970s: Optimism is in order [he said] because day-by-day democracy is proving itself to be a not-at-all fragile flower. ... the regimes planted by totalitarianism have had more than thirty years to establish their legitimacy. But none ­ not one regime ­ has yet been able to risk free elections.

President Reagan recognized that democracy is not the preserve of one people or one cultural group. He said that democracy "already flourishes in countries with very different cultures and historical experiences. It would be cultural condescension, or worse, to say that any people prefer dictatorship to democracy." Accordingly, President Reagan proposed a program to foster the infrastructure of democracy, the system of a free press, unions, political parties, universities, which allows a people to choose their own way to develop their own culture, to reconcile their own differences through peaceful means. That program grew into the National Endowment for Democracy, which recently celebrated its twentieth anniversary. President Bush spoke at the celebration of that anniversary a few weeks ago, recalling Ronald Reagan's words as "courageous and optimistic and entirely correct." In the last few weeks, in his National Endowment for Democracy speech, and in his speech in London, President Bush carried forward Ronald Reagan's ideas and applied them to the Middle East and the Muslim world generally. The good and capable people of the Middle East all deserve responsible leadership. For too long, many people in that region have been victims and subjects ­ they deserve to be active citizens. As in the case of President Reagan's 1982 speech, George W. Bush's advocacy of democracy serves a number of purposes: The "advance of freedom" is, President Bush said, not only the "calling of our time, is the calling of our country." But there is more at work here than just idealism. All free peoples have a practical stake in the spread of democratic institutions and the rule of law. Promoting freedom is fundamental to this Administration's policy in the Middle East, and in the Muslim world in general, and in the war on terrorism. The Bush Administration's strategy in the global war on terrorism has three parts: · First, disrupting and destroying terrorist networks and infrastructure. · Second, the protection of our homeland.

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And third is the intellectual component of creating a global anti-terrorist environment. We call this third part the "Battle of Ideas." Our aim in that battle is to de-legitimate terrorism as an instrument of politics. This means working to change the way people think, making toleration of terrorism ­ let alone support for it ­ unacceptable to anyone who wishes to be regarded as respectable. As President Bush's National Security Strategy says: People everywhere should put terrorism in the same despised category as slave trading, piracy and genocide. President Bush alluded to this point in London last week when he noted that American "zeal" has been inspired by English examples and he cited "the firm determination of the Royal Navy over the decades [of the early nineteenth century] to find and end the trade in slaves." · If the United States and its Coalition partners are to succeed in changing the way the world thinks about terrorism, we'll have to ensure that terrorism is punished rather than rewarded and that state sponsors of terrorism pay a price for their activities. (The Taliban and Saddam Hussein regimes have paid an especially large price.) But our efforts also have to target the recruitment and indoctrination of terrorists. No matter how successful we are at killing and capturing terrorists, or intercepting their weapons and funds, we can't win the war on terrorism unless we can reduce the supply of new terrorists. So, what are the circumstances that create fertile ground for the recruitment of terrorists? I see many of the usual answers as off the mark. Consider, for example, the phenomenon of suicide bombers ­ terrorists who perform attacks that they know they cannot survive. Many commentators have asserted that such terrorists don't calculate the benefits and costs of their actions. Westerners commonly assume that only a person ensnared in deep despair could do such a thing. This diagnosis implies its own solution ­ that the world should address what are called the "root causes of terrorism," the poverty and political hopelessness that many people imagine are the traits and motives of the suicide bombers. This

diagnosis, however, doesn't correspond to our actual experience. And it blinds us to opportunities we have to confront terrorism strategically. When we look at the records of the suicide bombers, we see that many aren't drawn from the poor. Mohammed Atta, for instance ­ a key figure in executing the September 11 attack ­ was a middle-class Egyptian whose parents were able to send him to study abroad. And his education meant that he could look forward to a relatively privileged life in Egypt ­ hardly grounds for extreme despair. Rather what characterizes terrorists seems to be a strange mixture of perverse hopes: · First of all, some bombers cherish a perverse form of religious hope. The promise of eternity in paradise is a tenet of many faiths, a noble incentive and consolation to millions of people. It's as cynical as it is sinister that leaders of al Qaida, Ansar al-Islam, Hezbollah, Hamas and other groups convince young people that eternity in paradise is available as a reward for murder. · Second, there is the bomber's hope of earthly glory and reward ­ praise as a hero from political leaders and honor for one's parents. · Third, there is the bomber's political hope. Suicide bombing is what defense analysts categorize as a form of asymmetric warfare, a means for the weak to fight the strong. Some terrorists are motivated by their hope that it is a winning strategy. This suggests a strategic course for us: attack the sources of these malignant hopes. Regarding the religious hope: Many Muslim religious leaders disapprove of suicide bombing ­ but many have been silenced or intimidated to voice support for the terrorists. The civilized world can do more to support moderate clerics, defend them and provide them with platforms on which to protect their religion from extremists who want to distort and hijack it. The civilized world should also deal with political leaders who heap honor (and money) on the suicide bombers and their families. President Bush, speaking of suicide bombers, said: "They are not martyrs. They are murderers." Other world leaders have the responsibility to reinforce this message. Finally, as to the suicide bombers' political hopes, it is important that terrorism be seen as a losing strategy.

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It is of strategic importance that neither in Iraq nor Afghanistan nor elsewhere wills the terrorists achieve success. In addition to batting down these perverted hopes, our mission is to create the conditions in which the people of the Middle East and elsewhere in the Islamic world can cherish the humane aspirations of free people everywhere for liberty and an opportunity to use their talents to win a measure of prosperity for themselves and their families. As President Bush noted: Sixty years of Western nations excusing an accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe ­ because in the long run, stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty. AS long as the Middle East remains a place where freedom does not flourish, it will remain a place of stagnation, resentment, and violence ready for export. We are now engaged most intensively in creating the conditions for freedom in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Although there is much to be said about Afghanistan, in my remaining time, I have to confine myself to a brief review of the situation in Iraq. Our work in that country is guided by President Bush's idea that a successful, new Iraq could serve as a model to the Arab and Muslim worlds of modernization, moderation, democracy and economic well-being. A free and prosperous Iraq could provide tens of millions of people with an alternative way to think about the future: Life doesn't have to be dominated by fanaticism and tyranny. We want to give the Iraq people the opportunity to create a new, fee and thriving Iraq ­ but we can't create it for them. The problems are many and large. We should not play Pollyanna. But substantial progress has been achieved. Iraq's Governing Council is the most representative government Iraq has ever had ­ and it is gaining acceptance at home and abroad. It has appointed interim ministers, who run the ministries, setting budgets and making policy. Local councils and officials are beginning to exercise power ­ countering Iraq's history of extreme centralization.

Last week, the Governing Council, working with Ambassador Jerry Bremer, announced a process and timetable for creating a transitional government, electing the members of a Constitutional Convention, drafting and ratifying a new constitution and holding elections under it to elect a permanent government for Iraq. In addition to the national Governing Council, there are over 250 governing councils functioning at the municipal and provincial levels throughout Iraq. This is a development of high significance, though generally under-reported. The problem that dominated the news reports from Iraq is, of course, security. It is a problem that is interwoven with political and economic developments in Iraq, but I'll offer a few comments specifically about the military dimension, which is under the responsibility of General John Abizaid, the Commander of the US Central Command. General Abizaid is an intelligent and tough-minded commander who knows the region, has analyzed the various elements that compose the enemy forces and has devised an aggressive strategy to defeat them. The strategy includes offensive pressure, precise and relentless, to capture or kill enemy leaders and fighters, to disrupt and defeat their operations, to cut off their sources of supply and support and to extract and exploit intelligence. We are applying technology to counter the enemy's improvised bombs, mortars and other weapons. Our forces are adapting continually to counter enemy tactics. Our enemies in Iraq are not numerous and not popular. Only a small portion of the Iraqi population has any desire to see the return of Baathist tyranny or the establishment of a government of extremist jihadists. But our enemies are wellfinanced, well-armed and motivated by the recognition that the success of Iraqi democratic political reconstruction will end or severely damage their several causes. No one should underestimate the difficulty of our mission. But no one should doubt that the US-led Coalition will succeed. Our strategy aims to put the Iraqis in a position to run their own lives, manage their own government and provide for their own security ­ and to leave as soon as we have done so. Thus, we have a dual message to convey to the Iraqi people:First, that we in the Coalition will stay the course and see the job through until Iraq is well-launched on

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the path to freedom and prosperity. But second, that we have no ambition to rule the Iraqis and intend to hand their country back to them as soon as we can. Fundamental to our strategy is getting more Iraqis trained and equipped to provide security for their own country. We are creating a new force, the Civil Defense Corps, which will perform combined operations with US and Coalition forces. We are also rebuilding the Iraqi policy force, which disintegrated with the old regime's collapse. Re-training will also be necessary ­ the old Iraq police force was not a capable institution: the real work of "law enforcement" (if one can call it that) under the old regime was done by the now-disbanded internal security services, using means that can have no place in a free Iraq. Even as the new Iraqi security forces are being trained, they can take over some tasks, such as fixed-site security. Highly-skilled U.S. troops are not needed for such missions. US troops can more effectively be kept in reserve to provide a quick reaction force that can deal with situations that go beyond the Iraqi forces' abilities. As more Iraqis function in the various security forces, they will improve the Coalition's intelligence, which is the key to dealing with former regime loyalists and with terrorists. Knowledge of the terrain, of the society and of the language are all advantages that an indigenous force will have over any outside force, no matter how well-trained or technologically advanced. Although we are on the right tracks in Afghanistan and Iraq, there is no doubt that we still face difficulties in both countries. But it bears recalling that, in 1982, when President Reagan gave the London speech from which I quoted earlier, we also faced difficult, even frightening, national security problems, and bitter controversy over the prudence of our policies and their chances for success. Now, when we look back twenty years, the Cold War's successful conclusion appears not just brilliant but inevitable. Indeed, many Americans across the political spectrum now recall the Cold War with a sort of nostalgia as a time when the nature of the enemy was clear and our key foreign policy choices were obvious. But, as this audience hardly needs reminding, it was nothing of the sort-

there were intense debates and doubts about eh course President Reagan took in those years, especially what was criticized as his moralistic approach to confronting the Soviet empire. I believe that, twenty years from now, President Bush's strategy ­ the actions in the war on terrorism that I have been discussing and other initiatives that I haven't mentioned, such as the transformation of our alliance structures and the transformation of our military forces ­ will also appear excellent, inevitable and perhaps even obvious. We'll look back at them with pride and satisfaction, knowing that the United States rose to the challenge with skill, moral clarity, determination ­ and success. As Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Douglas J. Feith oversees the formulation of defense planning guidance and forces policy, and he coordinates Department of Defense relations with foreign countries as well as the Department's role in U.S. Government interagency policymaking. Before his appointment in July 2001, Under Secretary Feith was the managing attorney of the Washington, D.C. law firm Feith & Zell, P.C. From March 1984 until September 1986, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Negotiations Policy. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Feith served as Special Counsel to Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle. His writings on international law and on foreign and defense policy have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, and many others. DOUGLAS J. FEITH


John Patrick Diggins : How Reagan Beat the Neocons

New york Times OP-ED Contributor (

Published: June 11, 2004

Almost everywhere in the press one reads that President Bush sounds an awful lot like Ronald Reagan. Commentators and politicians alike have drawn the comparison between Mr. Bush' s "muscular" foreign policy and the Reagan

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doctrine. However macho and aggressive Mr. Bush' s foreign policy may be, when it came to the Soviet Union, Mr. Reagan' s was anything but. In 1985, Mr. Reagan sent a long handwritten letter to Mikhail Gorbachev assuring him that he was prepared "to cooperate in any reasonable way to facilitate such a withdrawal" of the Soviets from Afghanistan. "Neither of us," he added, "wants to see offensive weapons, particularly weapons of mass destruction, deployed in space." Mr. Reagan eagerly sought to work with Mr. Gorbachev to rid the world of such weapons and to help the Soviet Union effect peaceful change in Eastern Europe. This offer was far from the position taken by the neoconservative advisers who now serve under Mr. Bush. Twenty years ago in the Reagan White House, they saw no possibility for such change, and indeed many of them subscribed to the theory of "totalitarianism" as unchangeable and irreversible. Mr. Reagan was also informed that the Soviet Union was preparing for a possible pre-emptive attack on the United States. This alarmist position was taken by Team B, formed in response to the more prudently analytical position of the C.I.A. and then composed of several members of the present Bush administration. The team was headed by Richard Pipes, the Russian historian at Harvard, whose stance was summed up in the title of one of his articles: "Why the Soviet Union Thinks It Could Fight and Win a Nuclear War." Not only did the neocons oppose Mr. Reagan' s efforts at rapprochement, they also argued against engaging in personal diplomacy with Soviet leaders. Advisers like Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld, now steering our foreign policy, held that America must escalate to achieve "nuclear dominance" and that we could only deal from a "strategy of strength." Mr. Reagan believed in a strong military, but to reassure the Soviet Union that America had no aggressive intentions, he reminded Leonid Brezhnev of just the opposite. From 1945 to 1949, the United States was the sole possessor of the atomic bomb, and yet, Mr. Reagan emphasized to Mr. Brezhnev, no threat was made to use the bomb to win concessions from the Soviet Union. The Star Wars missile defense system advocated by Mr. Reagan is often regarded as the final nail in the coffin of communism, as a military system that the Soviets could not afford and only fear. The first assumption was right, the second dubious. Margaret Thatcher, who urged Mr. Reagan to regard Mr. Gorbachev as "a man we can work with," also gave him more blunt advice on Star Wars: "I' m a

chemist; I know it won' t work." Like Mrs. Thatcher, Soviet scientists regarded it as a fantasy, and thus they were hardly impressed with Mr. Reagan' s offer to share it with them once it was perfected. (It still hasn' t been, nearly two decades later.) Those advisers in the Bush administration who regard themselves as Reaganites ought to remember that Mr. Reagan ceased heeding their advice. According to George Shultz' s memoir, "Turmoil and Triumph," Mr. Reagan would become uneasy when his hawkish advisers entered the Oval Office. In his own memoir, "An American Life," Mr. Reagan ridiculed the "macabre jargon" of warheads, I.C.B.M.' s, kill ratios and "throw weights," the payload capacity of long-range missiles. The president thought their figures sounded like "baseball scores" and dismissed his pesky advisers. Mr. Reagan rejected the neocons; George W. Bush stands by them no matter what. The difference between Mr. Reagan and Mr. Bush' s militant brain staff is that he believed in negotiation and they in escalation. They wanted to win the cold war; he sought to end it. To do so, it was necessary not to strike fear in the Soviet Union but to win the confidence of its leaders. Once the Soviet Union could count on Mr. Reagan, Mr. Gorbachev not only was free to embark on his domestic reforms, to convince his military to go along with budget cuts, to reassure his people that they no longer needed to worry about the old bogey of "capitalist encirclement," but, most important, he was also ready to announce to the Soviet Union' s satellite countries that henceforth they were on their own, that no longer would tanks of the Red Army be sent to put down uprisings. The cold war ended in an act of faith and trust, not fear and trembling. But many neocons came to hate Mr. Reagan, saying he lost the cold war since he left office with communism still in place. Some even believed that the cold war would soon be resumed. Dick Cheney, as President George H. W. Bush' s defense secretary, dismissed perestroika ("restructuring") as a sham and glasnost ("opening") as a ruse, he insisted that Mr. Gorbachev would be replaced by a belligerent militarist; and warned America to prepare for the re-emergence of an aggressive communist state. Mr. Reagan gave us an enlightened foreign policy that achieved most of its diplomatic objectives peacefully and succeeded in firmly uniting our allies. Today those who claim to be Mr. Reagan' s heirs give us "shock and awe" and a "muscular" foreign policy that has lost its way and undermined valued friendships throughout the world.

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John Patrick Diggins is a professor of history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and the author of the forthcoming, "Ronald Reagan: Morning in America."

"Nothing has ever existed like this disparity of power;" he wrote, "nothing. . . . No other nation comes close. . . . Charlemagne's empire was merely western European in its reach. The Roman empire stretched farther afield, but there was another great empire in Persia, and a larger one in China. There is, therefore, no comparison." Even Rome is no model for what America is today. First, because we do not have the imperial culture of Rome. We are an Athenian republic, even more republican and infinitely more democratic than Athens. And this American Republic has acquired the largest seeming empire in the history of the world--acquired it in a fit of absent-mindedness greater even than Britain's. And it was not just absentmindedness; it was sheer inadvertence. We got here because of Europe's suicide in the world wars of the twentieth century, and then the death of its Eurasian successor, Soviet Russia, for having adopted a political and economic system so inhuman that, like a genetically defective organism, it simply expired in its sleep. Leaving us with global dominion. Second, we are unlike Rome, unlike Britain and France and Spain and the other classical empires of modern times, in that we do not hunger for territory. The use of the word "empire" in the American context is ridiculous. It is absurd to apply the word to a people whose first instinct upon arriving on anyone's soil is to demand an exit strategy. I can assure you that when the Romans went into Gaul and the British into India, they were not looking for exit strategies. They were looking for entry strategies. In David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia, King Faisal says to Lawrence: "I think you are another of these desert-loving English. . . . The English have a great hunger for desolate places." Indeed, for five centuries, the Europeans did hunger for deserts and jungles and oceans and new continents. Americans do not. We like it here. We like our McDonald' s. We like our football. We like our rock-and-roll. We've got the Grand Canyon and Graceland. We've got Silicon Valley and South Beach. We've got everything. And if that's not enough, we've got Vegas--which is a facsimile of everything. What could we possibly need anywhere else? We don't like exotic climates. We don't like exotic


Charles Krauthammer: Democratic Realism

Charles Krauthammer. "Democratic Realism : An American Foreign Policy for a Unipolar World". February 10, 2004. The 2004 Irving Kristol Lecture, American Enterprise Institute.

A Unipolar World Americans have healthy aversion to foreign policy. It stems from a sense of thrift: Who needs it? We're protected by two great oceans. We have this continent practically to ourselves. And we share it with just two neighbors, both friendly, one so friendly that its people seem intent upon moving in with us. It took three giants of the twentieth century to drag us into its great battles: Wilson into World War I, Roosevelt into World War II, Truman into the Cold War. And then it ended with one of the great anticlimaxes in history. Without a shot fired, without a revolution, without so much as a press release, the Soviet Union simply gave up and disappeared. It was the end of everything--the end of communism, of socialism, of the Cold War, of the European wars. But the end of everything was also a beginning. On December 26, 1991, the Soviet Union died and something new was born, something utterly new--a unipolar world dominated by a single superpower unchecked by any rival and with decisive reach in every corner of the globe. This is a staggering new development in history, not seen since the fall of Rome. It is so new, so strange, that we have no idea how to deal with it. Our first reaction-the 1990s--was utter confusion. The next reaction was awe. When Paul Kennedy, who had once popularized the idea of American decline, saw what America did in the Afghan war--a display of fully mobilized, furiously concentrated unipolar power at a distance of 8,000 miles--he not only recanted, he stood in wonder:

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languages--lots of declensions and moods. We don't even know what a mood is. We like Iowa corn and New York hot dogs, and if we want Chinese or Indian or Italian, we go to the food court. We don't send the Marines for takeout. That's because we are not an imperial power. We are a commercial republic. We don't take food; we trade for it. Which makes us something unique in history, an anomaly, a hybrid: a commercial republic with overwhelming global power. A commercial republic that, by pure accident of history, has been designated custodian of the international system. The eyes of every supplicant from East Timor to Afghanistan, from Iraq to Liberia; Arab and Israeli, Irish and British, North and South Korean are upon us. That is who we are. That is where we are. Now the question is: What do we do? What is a unipolar power to do? Isolationism The oldest and most venerable answer is to hoard that power and retreat. This is known as isolationism. Of all the foreign policy schools in America, it has the oldest pedigree, not surprising in the only great power in history to be isolated by two vast oceans. Isolationism originally sprang from a view of America as spiritually superior to the Old World. We were too good to be corrupted by its low intrigues, entangled by its cynical alliances. Today, however, isolationism is an ideology of fear. Fear of trade. Fear of immigrants. Fear of the Other. Isolationists want to cut off trade and immigration, and withdraw from our military and strategic commitments around the world. Even isolationists, of course, did not oppose the war in Afghanistan, because it was so obviously an act of self-defense--only a fool or a knave or a Susan Sontag could oppose that. But anything beyond that, isolationists oppose. They are for a radical retrenchment of American power--for pulling up the drawbridge to Fortress America. Isolationism is an important school of thought historically, but not today. Not just because of its brutal intellectual reductionism, but because it is so obviously

inappropriate to the world of today--a world of export-driven economies, of massive population flows, and of 9/11, the definitive demonstration that the combination of modern technology and transnational primitivism has erased the barrier between "over there" and over here. Classical isolationism is not just intellectually obsolete; it is politically bankrupt as well. Four years ago, its most public advocate, Pat Buchanan, ran for president of the United States, and carried Palm Beach. By accident. Classic isolationism is moribund and marginalized. Who then rules America? Liberal Internationalism In the 1990s, it was liberal internationalism. Liberal internationalism is the foreign policy of the Democratic Party and the religion of the foreign policy elite. It has a peculiar history. It traces its pedigree to Woodrow Wilson's utopianism, Harry Truman's anticommunism, and John Kennedy's militant universalism. But after the Vietnam War, it was transmuted into an ideology of passivity, acquiescence and almost reflexive anti-interventionism. Liberals today proudly take credit for Truman's and Kennedy's roles in containing communism, but they prefer to forget that, for the last half of the Cold War, liberals used "cold warrior" as an epithet. In the early 1980s, they gave us the nuclear freeze movement, a form of unilateral disarmament in the face of Soviet nuclear advances. Today, John Kerry boasts of opposing, during the 1980s, what he calls Ronald Reagan's "illegal war in Central America"--and oppose he did what was, in fact, an indigenous anticommunist rebellion that ultimately succeeded in bringing down Sandinista rule and ushering in democracy in all of Central America. That boast reminds us how militant was liberal passivity in the last half of the Cold War. But that passivity outlived the Cold War. When Kuwait was invaded, the question was: Should the United States go to war to prevent the Persian Gulf from falling into hostile hands? The Democratic Party joined the Buchananite isolationists in saying No. The Democrats voted No overwhelmingly--two to one in the House, more than four to one in the Senate.

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And yet, quite astonishingly, when liberal internationalism came to power just two years later in the form of the Clinton administration, it turned almost hyperinterventionist. It involved us four times in military action: deepening intervention in Somalia, invading Haiti, bombing Bosnia, and finally going to war over Kosovo. How to explain the amazing transmutation of Cold War and Gulf War doves into Haiti and Balkan hawks? The crucial and obvious difference is this: Haiti, Bosnia and Kosovo were humanitarian ventures--fights for right and good, devoid of raw national interest. And only humanitarian interventionism--disinterested interventionism devoid of national interest--is morally pristine enough to justify the use of force. The history of the 1990s refutes the lazy notion that liberals have an aversion to the use of force. They do not. They have an aversion to using force for reasons of pure national interest. And by national interest I do not mean simple self-defense. Everyone believes in self-defense, as in Afghanistan. I am talking about national interest as defined by a Great Power: shaping the international environment by projecting power abroad to secure economic, political, and strategic goods. Intervening militarily for that kind of national interest, liberal internationalism finds unholy and unsupportable. It sees that kind of national interest as merely self-interest writ large, in effect, a form of grand national selfishness. Hence Kuwait, no; Kosovo, yes. The other defining feature of the Clinton foreign policy was multilateralism, which expressed itself in a mania for treaties. The Clinton administration negotiated a dizzying succession of parchment promises on bioweapons, chemical weapons, nuclear testing, carbon emissions, antiballistic missiles, etc. Why? No sentient being could believe that, say, the chemical or biological weapons treaties were anything more than transparently useless. Senator Joseph Biden once defended the Chemical Weapons Convention, which even its proponents admitted was unenforceable, on the grounds that it would "provide us with a valuable tool"--the "moral suasion of the entire international community."

Moral suasion? Was it moral suasion that made Qaddafi see the wisdom of giving up his weapons of mass destruction? Or Iran agree for the first time to spot nuclear inspections? It was the suasion of the bayonet. It was the ignominious fall of Saddam--and the desire of interested spectators not to be next on the list. The whole point of this treaty was to keep rogue states from developing chemical weapons. Rogue states are, by definition, impervious to moral suasion. Moral suasion is a farce. Why then this obsession with conventions, protocols, legalisms? Their obvious net effect is to temper American power. Who, after all, was really going to be most constrained by these treaties? The ABM amendments were aimed squarely at American advances and strategic defenses, not at Russia, which lags hopelessly behind. The Kyoto Protocol exempted India and China. The nuclear test ban would have seriously degraded the American nuclear arsenal. And the land mine treaty (which the Clinton administration spent months negotiating but, in the end, met so much Pentagon resistance that even Clinton could not initial it) would have had a devastating impact on U.S. conventional forces, particularly at the DMZ in Korea. But that, you see, is the whole point of the multilateral enterprise: To reduce American freedom of action by making it subservient to, dependent on, constricted by the will--and interests--of other nations. To tie down Gulliver with a thousand strings. To domesticate the most undomesticated, most outsized, national interest on the planet--ours. Today, multilateralism remains the overriding theme of liberal internationalism. When in power in the 1990s, multilateralism expressed itself as a mania for treaties. When out of power in this decade, multilateralism manifests itself in the slavish pursuit of "international legitimacy"--and opposition to any American action undertaken without universal foreign blessing. Which is why the Democratic critique of the war in Iraq is so peculiarly one of process and not of policy. The problem was that we did not have the permission of the UN; we did not have a large enough coalition; we did not have a second Security Council resolution. Kofi Annan was unhappy and the French were cross.

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The Democratic presidential candidates all say that we should have internationalized the conflict, brought in the UN, enlisted the allies. Why? Two reasons: assistance and legitimacy. First, they say, we could have used these other countries to help us in the reconstruction. This is rich. Everyone would like to have more help in reconstruction. It would be lovely to have the Germans and the French helping reconstruct Baghdad. But the question is moot, and the argument is cynical: France and Germany made absolutely clear that they would never support the overthrow of Saddam. So, accommodating them was not a way to get them into the reconstruction, it was a way to ensure that there would never be any reconstruction, because Saddam would still be in power. Of course it would be nice if we had more allies rather than fewer. It would also be nice to be able to fly. But when some nations are not with you on your enterprise, including them in your coalition is not a way to broaden it; it's a way to abolish it. At which point, liberal internationalists switch gears and appeal to legitimacy--on the grounds that multilateral action has a higher moral standing. I have always found this line of argument incomprehensible. By what possible moral calculus does an American intervention to liberate 25 million people forfeit moral legitimacy because it lacks the blessing of the butchers of Tiananmen Square or the cynics of the Quai d'Orsay? Which is why it is hard to take these arguments at face value. Look: We know why liberal internationalists demanded UN sanction for the war in Iraq. It was a way to stop the war. It was the Gulliver effect. Call a committee meeting of countries with hostile or contrary interests--i.e., the Security Council--and you have guaranteed yourself another twelve years of inaction. Historically, multilateralism is a way for weak countries to multiply their power by attaching themselves to stronger ones. But multilateralism imposed on Great Powers, and particularly on a unipolar power, is intended to restrain that power. Which is precisely why France is an ardent multilateralist. But why should

America be? Why, in the end, does liberal internationalism want to tie down Gulliver, to blunt the pursuit of American national interests by making them subordinate to a myriad of other interests? In the immediate post-Vietnam era, this aversion to national interest might have been attributed to self-doubt and self-loathing. I don't know. What I do know is that today it is a mistake to see liberal foreign policy as deriving from antiAmericanism or lack of patriotism or a late efflorescence of 1960s radicalism. On the contrary. The liberal aversion to national interest stems from an idealism, a larger vision of country, a vision of some ambition and nobility--the ideal of a true international community. And that is: To transform the international system from the Hobbesian universe into a Lockean universe. To turn the state of nature into a norm-driven community. To turn the law of the jungle into the rule of law--of treaties and contracts and UN resolutions. In short, to remake the international system in the image of domestic civil society. They dream of a new world, a world described in 1943 by Cordell Hull, FDR's secretary of state--a world in which "there will no longer be need for spheres of influence, for alliances, for balance of power, or any other of the special arrangements by which, in the unhappy past, the nations strove to safeguard their security or promote their interests." And to create such a true international community, you have to temper, transcend, and, in the end, abolish the very idea of state power and national interest. Hence the antipathy to American hegemony and American power. If you are going to break the international arena to the mold of domestic society, you have to domesticate its single most powerful actor. You have to abolish American dominance, not only as an affront to fairness, but also as the greatest obstacle on the whole planet to a democratized international system where all live under selfgoverning international institutions and self-enforcing international norms. Realism This vision is all very nice. All very noble. And all very crazy. Which brings us to

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the third great foreign policy school: realism. The realist looks at this great liberal project and sees a hopeless illusion. Because turning the Hobbesian world that has existed since long before the Peloponnesian Wars into a Lockean world, turning a jungle into a suburban subdivision, requires a revolution in human nature. Not just an erector set of new institutions, but a revolution in human nature. And realists do not believe in revolutions in human nature, much less stake their future, and the future of their nation, on them. Realism recognizes the fundamental fallacy in the whole idea of the international system being modeled on domestic society. First, what holds domestic society together is a supreme central authority wielding a monopoly of power and enforcing norms. In the international arena there is no such thing. Domestic society may look like a place of self-regulating norms, but if somebody breaks into your house, you call 911, and the police arrive with guns drawn. That's not exactly self-enforcement. That's law enforcement. Second, domestic society rests on the shared goodwill, civility and common values of its individual members. What values are shared by, say, Britain, Cuba, Yemen and Zimbabwe--all nominal members of this fiction we call the "international community"? Of course, you can have smaller communities of shared interests--NAFTA, ANZUS, or the European Union. But the European conceit that relations with all nations--regardless of ideology, regardless of culture, regardless even of open hostility--should be transacted on the EU model of suasion and norms and negotiations and solemn contractual agreements is an illusion. A fisheries treaty with Canada is something real. An Agreed Framework on plutonium processing with the likes of North Korea is not worth the paper it is written on. The realist believes the definition of peace Ambrose Bierce offered in The Devil's Dictionary: "Peace: noun, in international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting."

Hence the realist axiom: The "international community" is a fiction. It is not a community, it is a cacophony--of straining ambitions, disparate values and contending power. What does hold the international system together? What keeps it from degenerating into total anarchy? Not the phony security of treaties, not the best of goodwill among the nicer nations. In the unipolar world we inhabit, what stability we do enjoy today is owed to the overwhelming power and deterrent threat of the United States. If someone invades your house, you call the cops. Who do you call if someone invades your country? You dial Washington. In the unipolar world, the closest thing to a centralized authority, to an enforcer of norms, is America--American power. And ironically, American power is precisely what liberal internationalism wants to constrain and tie down and subsume in pursuit of some brave new Lockean world. Realists do not live just in America. I found one in Finland. During the 1997 negotiations in Oslo over the land mine treaty, one of the rare holdouts, interestingly enough, was Finland. The Finnish prime minister stoutly opposed the land mine ban. And for that he was scolded by his Scandinavian neighbors. To which he responded tartly that this was a "very convenient" pose for the "other Nordic countries"--after all, Finland is their land mine. Finland is the land mine between Russia and Scandinavia. America is the land mine between barbarism and civilization. Where would South Korea be without America and its land mines along the DMZ? Where would Europe--with its cozy arrogant community--had America not saved it from the Soviet colossus? Where would the Middle East be had American power not stopped Saddam in 1991? The land mine that protects civilization from barbarism is not parchment but power, and in a unipolar world, American power--wielded, if necessary, unilaterally. If necessary, preemptively,

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Now, those uneasy with American power have made these two means of wielding it--preemption and unilateralism--the focus of unrelenting criticism. The doctrine of preemption, in particular, has been widely attacked for violating international norms. What international norm? The one under which Israel was universally condemned-even the Reagan administration joined the condemnation at the Security Council-for preemptively destroying Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981? Does anyone today doubt that it was the right thing to do, both strategically and morally? In a world of terrorists, terrorist states and weapons of mass destruction, the option of preemption is especially necessary. In the bipolar world of the Cold War, with a stable nonsuicidal adversary, deterrence could work. Deterrence does not work against people who ache for heaven. It does not work against undeterrables. And it does not work against undetectables: nonsuicidal enemy regimes that might attack through clandestine means--a suitcase nuke or anonymously delivered anthrax. Against both undeterrables and undetectables, preemption is the only possible strategy. Moreover, the doctrine of preemption against openly hostile states pursuing weapons of mass destruction is an improvement on classical deterrence. Traditionally, we deterred the use of WMDs by the threat of retaliation after we'd been attacked--and that's too late; the point of preemption is to deter the very acquisition of WMDs in the first place. Whether or not Iraq had large stockpiles of WMDs, the very fact that the United States overthrew a hostile regime that repeatedly refused to come clean on its weapons has had precisely this deterrent effect. We are safer today not just because Saddam is gone, but because Libya and any others contemplating trafficking with WMDs, have--for the first time--seen that it carries a cost, a very high cost. Yes, of course, imperfect intelligence makes preemption problematic. But that is not an objection on principle, it is an objection in practice. Indeed, the objection concedes the principle. We need good intelligence. But we remain defenseless if we abjure the option of preemption.

The other great objection to the way American unipolar power has been wielded is its unilateralism. I would dispute how unilateralist we have in fact been. Constructing ad hoc "coalitions of the willing" hardly qualifies as unilateralism just because they do not have a secretariat in Brussels or on the East River. Moreover, unilateralism is often the very road to multilateralism. As we learned from the Gulf War, it is the leadership of the United States--indeed, its willingness to act unilaterally if necessary--that galvanized the Gulf War coalition into existence. Without the president of the United States declaring "This will not stand" about the invasion of Kuwait--and making it clear that America would go it alone if it had to--there never would have been the great wall-to-wall coalition that is now so retroactively applauded and held up as a model of multilateralism. Of course one acts in concert with others if possible. It is nice when others join us in the breach. No one seeks to be unilateral. Unilateralism simply means that one does not allow oneself to be held hostage to the will of others. Of course you build coalitions when possible. In 2003, we garnered a coalition of the willing for Iraq that included substantial allies like Britain, Australia, Spain, Italy and much of Eastern Europe. France and Germany made clear from the beginning that they would never join in the overthrow of Saddam. Therefore the choice was not a wide coalition versus a narrow one, but a narrow coalition versus none. There were serious arguments against war in Iraq--but the fact France did not approve was not one of them. Irving Kristol once explained that he preferred the Organization of American States to the United Nations because in the OAS we can be voted down in only three languages, thereby saving translators' fees. Realists choose not to be Gulliver. In an international system with no sovereign, no police, no protection--where power is the ultimate arbiter and history has bequeathed us unprecedented power--we should be vigilant in preserving that power. And our freedom of action to use it. But here we come up against the limits of realism: You cannot live by power alone. Realism is a valuable antidote to the woolly internationalism of the 1990s.

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But realism can only take you so far. Its basic problem lies in its definition of national interest as classically offered by its great theorist, Hans Morgenthau: interest defined as power. Morgenthau postulated that what drives nations, what motivates their foreign policy, is the will to power--to keep it and expand it. For most Americans, will to power might be a correct description of the world--of what motivates other countries--but it cannot be a prescription for America. It cannot be our purpose. America cannot and will not live by realpolitik alone. Our foreign policy must be driven by something beyond power. Unless conservatives present ideals to challenge the liberal ideal of a domesticated international community, they will lose the debate. Which is why among American conservatives, another, more idealistic, school has arisen that sees America's national interest as an expression of values. Democratic Globalism It is this fourth school that has guided U.S. foreign policy in this decade. This conservative alternative to realism is often lazily and invidiously called neoconservatism, but that is a very odd name for a school whose major proponents in the world today are George W. Bush and Tony Blair--if they are neoconservatives, then Margaret Thatcher was a liberal. There's nothing neo about Bush, and there's nothing con about Blair. Yet they are the principal proponents today of what might be called democratic globalism, a foreign policy that defines the national interest not as power but as values, and that identifies one supreme value, what John Kennedy called "the success of liberty." As President Bush put it in his speech at Whitehall last November: "The United States and Great Britain share a mission in the world beyond the balance of power or the simple pursuit of interest. We seek the advance of freedom and the peace that freedom brings." Beyond power. Beyond interest. Beyond interest defined as power. That is the credo of democratic globalism. Which explains its political appeal: America is a nation uniquely built not on blood, race or consanguinity, but on a proposition--to which its sacred honor has been pledged for two centuries. This American exceptionalism explains why non-Americans find this foreign policy so difficult to

credit; why Blair has had more difficulty garnering support for it in his country; and why Europe, in particular, finds this kind of value-driven foreign policy hopelessly and irritatingly moralistic. Democratic globalism sees as the engine of history not the will to power but the will to freedom. And while it has been attacked as a dreamy, idealistic innovation, its inspiration comes from the Truman Doctrine of 1947, the Kennedy inaugural of 1961, and Reagan's "evil empire" speech of 1983. They all sought to recast a struggle for power between two geopolitical titans into a struggle between freedom and unfreedom, and yes, good and evil. Which is why the Truman Doctrine was heavily criticized by realists like Hans Morgenthau and George Kennan--and Reagan was vilified by the entire foreign policy establishment: for the sin of ideologizing the Cold War by injecting a moral overlay. That was then. Today, post-9/11, we find ourselves in a similar existential struggle but with a different enemy: not Soviet communism, but Arab-Islamic totalitarianism, both secular and religious. Bush and Blair are similarly attacked for naïvely and crudely casting this struggle as one of freedom versus unfreedom, good versus evil. Now, given the way not just freedom but human decency were suppressed in both Afghanistan and Iraq, the two major battles of this new war, you would have to give Bush and Blair's moral claims the decided advantage of being obviously true. Nonetheless, something can be true and still be dangerous. Many people are deeply uneasy with the Bush-Blair doctrine--many conservatives in particular. When Blair declares in his address to Congress: "The spread of freedom is . . . our last line of defense and our first line of attack," they see a dangerously expansive, aggressively utopian foreign policy. In short, they see Woodrow Wilson. Now, to a conservative, Woodrow Wilson is fightin' words. Yes, this vision is expansive and perhaps utopian. But it ain't Wilsonian. Wilson envisioned the

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spread of democratic values through as-yet-to-be invented international institutions. He could be forgiven for that. In 1918, there was no way to know how utterly corrupt and useless those international institutions would turn out to be. Eight decades of bitter experience later--with Libya chairing the UN Commission on Human Rights--there is no way not to know. Democratic globalism is not Wilsonian. Its attractiveness is precisely that it shares realism's insights about the centrality of power. Its attractiveness is precisely that it has appropriate contempt for the fictional legalisms of liberal internationalism. Moreover, democratic globalism is an improvement over realism. What it can teach realism is that the spread of democracy is not just an end but a means, an indispensable means for securing American interests. The reason is simple. Democracies are inherently more friendly to the United States, less belligerent to their neighbors, and generally more inclined to peace. Realists are right that to protect your interests you often have to go around the world bashing bad guys over the head. But that technique, no matter how satisfying, has its limits. At some point, you have to implant something, something organic and self-developing. And that something is democracy. But where? The danger of democratic globalism is its universalism, its open-ended commitment to human freedom, its temptation to plant the flag of democracy everywhere. It must learn to say no. And indeed, it does say no. But when it says no to Liberia, or Congo, or Burma, or countenances alliances with authoritarian rulers in places like Pakistan or, for that matter, Russia, it stands accused of hypocrisy. Which is why we must articulate criteria for saying yes. Where to intervene? Where to bring democracy? Where to nation-build? I propose a single criterion: where it counts. Call it democratic realism. And this is its axiom: We will support democracy everywhere, but we will commit blood and treasure only in places where there is a strategic necessity--meaning, places central to the larger war against the existential enemy, the enemy that poses a global mortal threat to freedom. Where does it count? Fifty years ago, Germany and Japan counted. Why? Because

they were the seeds of the greatest global threat to freedom in midcentury-fascism--and then were turned, by nation building, into bulwarks against the next great threat to freedom, Soviet communism. Where does it count today? Where the overthrow of radicalism and the beginnings of democracy can have a decisive effect in the war against the new global threat to freedom, the new existential enemy, the Arab-Islamic totalitarianism that has threatened us in both its secular and religious forms for the quarter-century since the Khomeini revolution of 1979. Establishing civilized, decent, nonbelligerent, pro-Western polities in Afghanistan and Iraq and ultimately their key neighbors would, like the flipping of Germany and Japan in the 1940s, change the strategic balance in the fight against ArabIslamic radicalism. Yes, it may be a bridge too far. Realists have been warning against the hubris of thinking we can transform an alien culture because of some postulated natural and universal human will to freedom. And they may yet be right. But how do they know in advance? Half a century ago, we heard the same confident warnings about the imperviousness to democracy of Confucian culture. That proved stunningly wrong. Where is it written that Arabs are incapable of democracy? Yes, as in Germany and Japan, the undertaking is enormous, ambitious and arrogant. It may yet fail. But we cannot afford not to try. There is not a single, remotely plausible, alternative strategy for attacking the monster behind 9/11. It's not Osama bin Laden; it is the cauldron of political oppression, religious intolerance, and social ruin in the Arab-Islamic world--oppression transmuted and deflected by regimes with no legitimacy into virulent, murderous antiAmericanism. It's not one man; it is a condition. It will be nice to find that man and hang him, but that's the cops-and-robbers law-enforcement model of fighting terrorism that we tried for twenty years and that gave us 9/11. This is war, and in war arresting murderers is nice. But you win by taking territory--and leaving something behind. September 11 We are the unipolar power and what do we do?

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In August 1900, David Hilbert gave a speech to the International Congress of Mathematicians naming twenty-three still-unsolved mathematical problems bequeathed by the nineteenth century to the twentieth. Had he presented the great unsolved geopolitical problems bequeathed to the twentieth century, one would have stood out above all--the rise of Germany and its accommodation within the European state system. Similarly today, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, we can see clearly the two great geopolitical challenges on the horizon: the inexorable rise of China and the coming demographic collapse of Europe, both of which will irrevocably disequilibrate the international system. But those problems come later. They are for midcentury. They are for the next generation. And that generation will not even get to these problems unless we first deal with our problem. And our problem is 9/11 and the roots of Arab-Islamic nihilism. September 11 felt like a new problem, but for all its shock and surprise, it is an old problem with a new face. September 11 felt like the initiation of a new history, but it was a return to history, the twentieth-century history of radical ideologies and existential enemies. The anomaly is not the world of today. The anomaly was the 1990s, our holiday from history. It felt like peace, but it was an interval of dreaming between two periods of reality. From which 9/11 awoke us. It startled us into thinking everything was new. It's not. What is new is what happened not on 9/11 but ten years earlier on December 26, 1991: the emergence of the United States as the world's unipolar power. What is unique is our advantage in this struggle, an advantage we did not have during the struggles of the twentieth century. The question for our time is how to press this advantage, how to exploit our unipolar power, how to deploy it to win the old/new war that exploded upon us on 9/11. What is the unipolar power to do? Four schools, four answers.

The isolationists want simply to ignore unipolarity, pull up the drawbridge, and defend Fortress America. Alas, the Fortress has no moat--not after the airplane, the submarine, the ballistic missile--and as for the drawbridge, it was blown up on 9/11. Then there are the liberal internationalists. They like to dream, and to the extent they are aware of our unipolar power, they don't like it. They see its use for anything other than humanitarianism or reflexive self-defense as an expression of national selfishness. And they don't just want us to ignore our unique power, they want us to yield it piece by piece, by subsuming ourselves in a new global architecture in which America becomes not the arbiter of international events, but a good and tame international citizen. Then there is realism, which has the clearest understanding of the new unipolarity and its uses--unilateral and preemptive if necessary. But in the end, it fails because it offers no vision. It is all means and no ends. It cannot adequately define our mission. Hence, the fourth school: democratic globalism. It has, in this decade, rallied the American people to a struggle over values. It seeks to vindicate the American idea by making the spread of democracy, the success of liberty, the ends and means of American foreign policy. I support that. I applaud that. But I believe it must be tempered in its universalistic aspirations and rhetoric from a democratic globalism to a democratic realism. It must be targeted, focused and limited. We are friends to all, but we come ashore only where it really counts. And where it counts today is that Islamic crescent stretching from North Africa to Afghanistan. In October 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, we came to the edge of the abyss. Then, accompanied by our equally shaken adversary, we both deliberately drew back. On September 11, 2001, we saw the face of Armageddon again, but this time with an enemy that does not draw back. This time the enemy knows no reason.

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Were that the only difference between now and then, our situation would be hopeless. But there is a second difference between now and then: the uniqueness of our power, unrivaled, not just today but ever. That evens the odds. The rationality of the enemy is something beyond our control. But the use of our power is within our control. And if that power is used wisely, constrained not by illusions and fictions but only by the limits of our mission--which is to bring a modicum of freedom as an antidote to nihilism--we can prevail.

AEI Print Index No. 16382. Available on the AEI website at

The people who talk about global governance begin with the same premises as the world government types: the belief that a world of separate nations, living by the law of the jungle, will inevitably be a violent world. Instead, these people believe, some supranational authority should be set up to settle international disputes by rule of law. They know we' re not close to a global version of the European superstate. So they are content to champion creeping institutions like the International Criminal Court. They treat U.N. General Assembly resolutions as an emerging body of international law. They seek to foment a social atmosphere in which positions taken by multilateral organizations are deemed to have more "legitimacy" than positions taken by democratic nations. John Bolton is just the guy to explain why this vaporous global-governance notion is a dangerous illusion, and that we Americans, like most other peoples, will never accept it. We' ll never accept it, first, because it is undemocratic. It is impossible to set up legitimate global authorities because there is no global democracy, no sense of common peoplehood and trust. So multilateral organizations can never look like legislatures, with open debate, up or down votes and the losers accepting majority decisions. Instead, they look like meetings of unelected elites, of technocrats who make decisions in secret and who rely upon intentionally impenetrable language, who settle differences through arcane fudges. Americans, like most peoples, will never surrender even a bit of their national democracy for the sake of multilateral technocracy. Second, we will never accept global governance because it inevitably devolves into corruption. The panoply of U.N. scandals flows from a single source: the lack of democratic accountability. These supranational organizations exist in their own insular, self-indulgent aerie.


David Brooks: Loudly, With a Big Stick

DAVID BROOKS, "Loudly, With a Big Stick". New York Times April 14, 2005. th I don' t like John Bolton' s management style. Nor am I a big fan of his foreign policy views. He doesn' t really believe in using U.S. power to end genocide or promote democracy. But it is ridiculous to say he doesn' t believe in the United Nations. This is a canard spread by journalists who haven' t bothered to read his stuff and by crafty politicians who aren' t willing to say what the Bolton debate is really about. The Bolton controversy isn' t about whether we believe in the U.N. mission. It' s about which U.N. mission we believe in. From the start, the U.N. has had two rival missions. Some people saw it as a place where sovereign nations could work together to solve problems. But other people saw it as the beginnings of a world government. This world government dream crashed on the rocks of reality, but as Jeremy Rabkin of Cornell has observed, the federalist idea has been replaced by a squishier but equally pervasive concept: the dream of "global governance."

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We will never accept global governance, third, because we love our Constitution and will never grant any other law supremacy over it. Like most peoples (Europeans are the exception), we will never allow transnational organizations to overrule our own laws, regulations and precedents. We think our Constitution is superior to the sloppy authority granted to, say, the International Criminal Court. Fourth, we understand that these mushy international organizations liberate the barbaric and handcuff the civilized. Bodies like the U.N. can toss hapless resolutions at the Milosevics, the Saddams or the butchers of Darfur, but they can do nothing to restrain them. Meanwhile, the forces of decency can be paralyzed as they wait for "the international community." Fifth, we know that when push comes to shove, all the grand talk about international norms is often just a cover for opposing the global elite' s btes noires of the moment - usually the U.S. or Israel. We will never grant legitimacy to forums that are so often manipulated for partisan ends. John Bolton is in a good position to make these and other points. He helped reverse the U.N.' s Zionism-is-racism resolution. He led the U.S. rejection of the International Criminal Court. Time and time again, he has pointed out that the U.N. can be an effective forum where nations can go to work together, but it can never be a legitimate supranational authority in its own right. Sometimes it takes sharp elbows to assert independence. But this is certain: We will never be so seduced by vapid pieties about global cooperation that we' ll join a system that is both unworkable and undemocratic. E-mail: [email protected]


David Cameron: Re-asserting faith in our shared British values

(David Cameron is the Shadow Education Secretary of the Conservative Party.) This speech was given to the The Foreign Policy Centre on August 24, 2005. 124485# Thank you very much for the invitation to speak here this morning. Your work ­ particularly on global security and the need to encourage greater freedom and democracy in the Middle East - has been immensely valuable. Two principles lie behind much of what you do. That Britain has an important role to play in international affairs. And that foreign and domestic policy are deeply interconnected. You' re right about both. And there' s no better example than the subject I would like to focus on today: the threat from extremist Islamist terrorism. In recent weeks I have been outlining some of the challenges I believe we face as country - and the need to foster a new sense of shared responsibility to deal with them. The challenges of global terror require exactly that kind of response. We' re all in this together, and we must act together to defend our security. I want to look at three areas in particular: · The truly global nature of the threat - and the foreign policy response that requires. · The security response that the Government should take to ensure that liberal values are best defended from a dangerous assault. · And the action we need to take as a country to strengthen the ties which bind us together as a nation. Our shared values But we should first understand the connection between these three areas. Our foreign policy response, our security response and our national response should all be rooted in our shared values. Our shared values as a nation are not the same thing as our national character and characteristics. There' s a long list of things we might include in any description of our national character, or "Britishness." But I don' t think we need engage in some protracted exercise to define our shared values. We can do it in a single phrase: Freedom under the rule

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of law. This simple, yet profound expression explains almost everything you need to know about our country, our institutions, our history, our culture ­ even our economy. It is why British citizens are free men and women, able to do what they like unless it harms others or is explicitly forbidden. And why no-one and nothing is above the law. These shared values, enshrined in our constitution and institutions over centuries, are the foundation of our civilised society. They are democratic, progressive and protect our human rights. Our response to the new threats we face - whether through foreign policy, security policy, or as a nation should involve the consistent application of these shared values. The global threat The attacks which London endured on the 7th of July were horrific acts of mass murder. Since that day there have been other attempts by other young men to bring terror to London. Britain has joined the long list of nations to be directly targeted by extremist Islamist terror. Indonesia, India, Tunisia, Algeria, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar, Russia, Kenya, Tanzania and the United States of America. The range of nations targeted by these terrorists underlines the global nature of the threat - as does the background of the attackers. It is profoundly shocking to learn that those responsible for 7/7 were British citizens. But they were not the first young British Muslims either to kill for terrorist ends, or become suicide bombers. The American journalist Daniel Pearl was murdered in Pakistan by a Briton educated in Essex. British suicide bombers have committed acts of terrorism in Israel. And we know that Britons have passed through Osama bin Laden' s terrorist training camps and attended fundamentalist madrassas in Pakistan. It is clearly right to say that there is no list of demands we can accept and no group of terrorists we could meet and negotiate with - even if we wanted to - to stop the attacks. But we can and should try to understand the nature of the force that we need to defeat. The driving force behind today' s terrorist threat is Islamist fundamentalism. The struggle we are engaged in is, at root, ideological. During the last century a strain of Islamist thinking has developed which, like other totalitarianisms, such as Nazi-ism and Communism, offers its followers a form of redemption through violence. The seeds of this ideology are various. As the great Middle Eastern scholar Bernard Lewis has pointed out, there are some in the Islamic - and especially Arab - world who are looking for a simple explanation for

the decline in their regions' power and prestige. A number of thinkers - most notably the Egyptian Sayyid Qutb - have argued that it has been the abandonment of true Islam which lies at the heart of Muslim problems. Qutb and his followers, including Osama bin Laden, have argued for a jihad to purge the Islamic world of those they see as apostate leaders and rid it of all Western influences. They have opposed the secular Egyptian Government and the House of Saud, as well as demanding an end to any Western presence on Islamic soil. But the Jihadist programme is not limited to these goals. They work, like Trotskyist "transitional demands", to rally support among the disaffected and radicalise them for the greater struggle. This is the establishment of a single, puritan, fundamentalist strain of Islam across the Muslim world, and the eventual advance of Islamist influence across the globe. Jihadism feeds into the bewilderment, alienation and lack of progress felt by many in the Muslim world. The corruption of many states in the Middle East. The lack of democracy. The concentration of power in the hands of elites whose lifestyles are noticeably unIslamic. All these things create resentments. Those resentments are very far from being restricted to the poor. Jihadism, like Nazi-sim and Communism before it, often bewitches the minds of gifted and educated young men. Mohammed Atta, the ringleader of the 9/11 terrorists, was an architect - and many of his confederates were graduates. For them the West was a source of corruption. Atta romanticised the simplicity and purity of Islamic life, which, he believed, was mortally threatened by Westernisation. It wasn' t just the presence of American troops on Muslim soil which offended him, but the influence of Western ideas, capitalism, female emancipation, democracy and the mixing of cultures. As the writer Jonathan Raban has observed, there is a generation of Islamists in the West, young men whose insecurities and search for certainty make them vulnerable to an ideology of purity. And, once they embrace Jihadism, their life in the West becomes "a hazardous survival exercise in enemy-occupied territory" with temptations to impurity everywhere. Taking up arms against that society becomes not just a cleansing exercise, it also confers on the young terrorist a sense of mission and superiority. Just like the Nazis of 1930s Germany they want to purge corrupt cosmopolitan influences. The parallels with the rise of Nazi-ism go further. Just as there were figures in the nineteen-thirties who misunderstood the

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totalitarian wickedness of Nazi-ism and argued that Hitler had a rational set of limited political demands, so there are people today who try to explain Jihadist violence with reference to a limited set of political goals. If only, some argue, we withdrew from Iraq, or Israel made massive concessions, then we would assuage Jihadist anger. That argument, while often advanced by well-meaning people, is as limited as the belief in the Thirties that, by allowing Germany to remilitarise the Rhineland or take over the Sudetenland, we would satisfy Nazi ambitions. As we discovered in the nineteen-thirties, a willingness to cede ground and duck confrontation is interpreted as fatal weakness. It can provide an incentive to escalate the struggle against a foe who clearly lacks the stomach for the fight. Indeed, in the 1990s the inaction of the West fed the belief among Osama bin Laden and his allies that we lacked the strength to defend ourselves. The ignominious US withdrawal from Somalia. The weakness of the response to the bombings of embassies in Africa and to the attack on the USS Cole. All these factors signalled weakness, especially in the face of a determined and fanatical foe. The lesson from all of this with respect to our presence in Iraq is clear. Premature withdrawal ­ and failure to support the Iraqi authority - would be seen as a surrender to militant Jihadism. Nothing would embolden the terrorists more. As Bin Laden' s principal lieutenant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has explained, the greatest threat to their project comes from liberal democracy. That is why their campaign there is sustained with such ferocity. Should representative government, or a system close to it, take root in Iraq they will not only have been defeated in one key battle, they will also find that an alternative path has been established in the Middle East which gives its people the hope, prosperity and freedom they deserve. Vital encouragement will be given to those struggling for democracy elsewhere in the Middle East, from Lebanon and Palestine to Syria and Iran. The mission to establish a representative Government in Iraq is a cause worth fighting for. As a Conservative, whose natural instincts are to be wary of grand schemes and ambitious projects for the re-making of society, I had my concerns about the scale of what is being attempted. Moving from the position of deterring a foe ­ Saddam ­ to an approach of pre-emptive action to remove him, was a profound change. That is why specific endorsement from the UN ­ through a "second resolution" -

was so desirable. But when ­ principally due to French obstruction ­ that was not possible, a decision still had to be made. Should we enforce a stream of UN resolutions against Saddam, remove a key element of instability in the region and neutralise a continued threat ­ or should we back off? I thought then that, on balance, it was right to go ahead, and I still do now.If we are to defeat the global Jihadist terrorist threat we must realise that we' re all in this together.That we share a responsibility with the people of the Islamic world and the Middle East to promote change, reform and liberalisation. That means... · standing with those brave democrats in Iraq who are trying to rebuild their nation · providing encouragement and support for the process of democratic statebuilding in Palestine · supporting, diplomatically, financially and morally, those leaders who are taking the difficult but necessary steps towards modernisation · and demonstrating our strength of purpose to regimes that support terror. In other words, it means standing up for our shared values ­ freedom under the rule of law. Homeland security It' s an ambitious mission. But the threat we face demands nothing less. It also requires us to move quickly to deal with the direct security threat our citizens face today. There is a simple series of direct questions we must answer. Do we have effective border controls to prevent terrorists or those who may wish to do us harm entering the UK illegally? Do we have an asylum system that is sufficiently robust to prevent them from abusing it? Can we remove them, through deportation, if they choose to try and stay here? Have we funded and directed our security services to ensure they can do everything possible to find and track such people, whether they are foreign nationals or UK citizens? Is our domestic anti-terror legislation being used properly by the security services, the Police and the courts to arrest, question, charge and imprison them? And is our response consistent with our shared national values? I fear that the accurate answer to all these questions is "no." For much of the last Parliament I sat on the Home Affairs Select Committee. Following 9/11 we examined these issues in some detail. And as a Home Office adviser in the

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1990s I know the awesome responsibility on the Home Office to get it right. These are difficult areas, but let me try and make some concrete suggestions. Border controls. We have 7 different agencies manning our ports. 24 out of Britain' s 35 main ports do not have round the clock security. So we do not know who is coming into our country. And because we have no embarkation controls, even when we do know who has come in, we have absolutely no idea whether they have left. That is why the Government has no real idea how many illegal immigrants there are in the UK, nor even how many asylum seekers whose claims have been refused have left. The case for a dedicated border Police force, 24-hour security at major ports and embarkation controls is now becoming unanswerable. Deportation. Under the European Convention on Human Rights, and in particular through important cases such as Chahal, it has become close to impossible to deport foreign nationals that may pose a threat to the UK. Being able to balance the danger they may pose to the UK if they stay with the danger to them if they are returned to their country of origin, is no longer possible. That is wrong. I have pursued this point in the Commons, on the select committee and in the press. Until very recently the Government' s attitude has been complacent ­ refusing to recognise that the problem is compounded by the interpretation of the ECHR and the passage of the Government' s own Human Rights Act. If the Government succeeds in its attempts to achieve memorandums of understanding with countries to which these people would be returned, so much the better. If not, we must will the means to the end that we desire and amend the Human Rights Act or, if necessary, leave ­ perhaps temporarily ­ the ECHR. The Security services. Are MI5 and MI6 equipped properly for this new terrorist era? With a joint budget which is only one third of the DTI, there must be considerable doubts. There are worrying indications that MI5, for example, did not have enough manpower to track one of the 7 July bombers, even though his name was clearly on the intelligence radar. In America after 9/11 the White House established a Commission to look into the

events of that tragic day. It asked tough questions and led to constructive reforms in intelligence and security. Surely we can only benefit from a similar exercise here, which looks forward to the immense security challenges we face. It would have the ability to question what has been done, and what requires to be done, to deal with the Jihadist terrorist threat. Use of legislation We' ve seen a flurry of anti-terrorist legislation from the Government in recent years. And a positive whirlwind of proposals in recent weeks. But before we agree to hastily-drafted new laws, we should ask searching questions about whether our existing laws are being applied properly. In the case of Omar Bakri Mohammed the saga of: ' Can he be excluded, can' t he be excluded?' was chaotic. What we need from our Government is cool heads and clear thinking. Instead, we' ve seen hot-headed muddle. I agree with John Denham, Chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, that ministers need to get a grip. No more announcements made one day only to be contradicted the next. Proper followthrough and rigorous implementation of existing powers. And nothing which undermines that which we are trying to defend: our shared values of freedom under the rule of law. Everything we do should be consistent with upholding the rule of law. As a start this means ensuring the consistent application of the law. We must not shy away from upholding our shared values of freedom under the rule of law ­ whether that means plays in Birmingham or postal vote fraud in the East End of London. One nation In asking searching questions we also have a shared responsibility to consider what needs to be done to bind the nation together and tackle the alienation which exists within the Muslim community. Over the past few weeks, many people have spoken about the need for us to reassert a common sense of British identity. I agree. But I don' t want to engage today in some generalised debate about multiculturalism, what it means, and what we should do with it. I want to focus on specifics: concrete steps we can take to strengthen the ties that bind us as a nation. To make clear that it is allegiance to our shared British values, not ethnicity or faith, which should provide our shared national identity. I think there are three priority areas where action is required.

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Citizenship The first is citizenship. The citizenship ceremonies that the Government introduced last year quite rightly emphasise responsibilities as well as rights. New citizens are required to swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen. They must pledge to respect our rights and freedoms, and to uphold our democratic values. And from November this year, all new applicants will have to demonstrate knowledge of the English language and of life in the UK. I warmly welcome these new requirements, but we need to go further. We must never give citizenship to those who have, in their past behaviour, demonstrated a rejection of our values. And if it' s important for new citizens to speak English, and to understand our rights, freedoms and democratic values, surely it' s equally important for existing citizens to do the same? We should not allow respect for other cultures to undermine our shared national culture. English is becoming the world' s language of choice. Millions of people in India and Pakistan are eager to learn English. Yet in the UK in 2005 a significant number of our own citizens cannot speak it. A Home Office study found that while 26 per cent of Pakistanis and Bangladeshis in the UK are fluent in English, the equivalent figure for the US is 68 per cent. We need to ask whether Government and other bodies, by allowing other languages to be used in official settings, can almost encourage the belief that learning English is not necessary. Of course we must make Government services accessible ­ and that means helping people who have not yet learnt English. But we must always be clear that use of other languages is a means to an end and not an end in itself. If you don' t speak English, you can' t participate fully in national life. Government needs to make this clear, and help create incentives for every citizen of this country to speak our national language. Schools The second area where government needs to act is in education. Our experience at school helps shape our values and behaviour, and we have a responsibility to make sure that our education system instils the right values, and encourages the right behaviour. It has been suggested that in order to halt the rise of separatism and to promote a greater sense of national cohesion, we should discourage the establishment of faith schools. Some have gone as far as saying that faith schools should be banned. They point to the rigid secularism of the education system in

France and recommend it as a model for this country. But if we agree that freedom is one of our shared values, surely that includes the freedom for parents to educate their children in a context that fits their religious beliefs, if that' s what they want for their children? It would run counter to all that we stand for to ban faith schools, whether the faith in question is Islam, Christianity, Judaism or any other. The correct policy response on faith schools is to heed the words of David Bell, the Chief Inspector of Schools, who expressed his concern over what is being taught it Muslim schools. He' s right, and the Government must take firm action now · to enforce the teaching of the national curriculum in faith schools... · to insist that lessons are conducted in English... · and to ensure that instruction is given in our shared values, and the heritage and institutions that underpin them. This applies, of course, not just to faith schools but to all schools. I' ve argued that government' s number one priority in education should be to enforce greater academic rigour throughout the system. This applies with equal force to the values that are taught in school. We need to be much more rigorous in ensuring that all children are taught to be proud of Britain, our history and our values. This doesn' t mean just cherry picking proud achievements ­ such as Britain' s role in ending slavery ­ any more than it should mean glossing over shameful episodes. But you don' t have to be Colonel Blimp to worry about political correctness in the teaching of history. The report for the Government by Ted Cantle following the disturbances in Burnley and other towns made this clear. As he put it: "A failure to have a shared history is to condemn some sections of our nation to be forever strangers in their own country." In his book "Empire" Niall Fergusson quotes from a BBC education website explaining that "The British Empire came to greatness by killing lots of people ... and stealing their countries... [it] fell to pieces because of various people like Mahatma Gandhi, heroic revolutionary protester, sensitive to the needs of his people." But it' s not just the formal curriculum that shapes children' s values at school. Schools provide opportunities for social mixing: the chance for children to make friends from different backgrounds. But in some inner city schools today, opportunities for social mixing are limited or even absent. Government can do

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something about this. We can promote school exchanges that introduce children to other young people from different backgrounds - to make those personal, emotional connections that are at the heart of civilised relationships and a sense of community. Many schools already run exchange programmes, although often the focus is international rather than within the UK. I' d like to see school exchanges within Britain as a standard part of the educational experience for every child. Mosques The third specific area where Government can act is in our policy towards mosques. We can help Muslims fight the extremism in their midst, just as we helped the moderate majority take back control of trade unions in the eighties, by insisting on greater transparency and openness. The problem is rarely hate-filled preaching inside mosques. Some moderate imams, often from rural backgrounds, are unable to provide relevant and attractive Islamic leadership. This leads to a rejection of the mosque, and the exposure of young Muslims to dangerous teaching outside mosques - in front rooms, community centres, even gyms. But the issue of leadership will not be dealt with by the simplistic step of banning the import of imams from overseas. Some of our most impressive imams were born overseas. Our objective should be to ensure that all imams, wherever they' re from, can speak English, and have the right training and understanding of modern British life. For these reasons, I fully support the recommendation of Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, Leader of the Muslim Parliament, for the establishment of a Mosques Commission, led by Muslims. It should provide proper regulatory oversight of mosques, and ensure the involvement of young people in their management committees. But strengthening the ties that bind us as a nation is not just about mosques and it' s not just about Islam. It' s about our attitude to ethnic and religious diversity, and the impact of government policy on community cohesion. School leaver programme The most powerful way to bring people together is to do things together. I am always struck when asking anyone of my father' s generation who did national service by the fact that they tend to reply in a similar way. It was something we all did together ... irrespective of who we were, where we lived, where we came from, or what god we worshipped. Today, University is our closest equivalent,

with each campus becoming a melting pot mixing together all the elements of our country. But can that ever be enough? Isn' t there more we can do to enable young people to come together and give service to their country? I am not suggesting a return to national service. And I have neither a blueprint in mind, nor a clear answer to my own question. But look at the best examples of organisations that encourage community service, particularly amongst the young. The Duke of Edinburgh Award and Prince' s Trust schemes here and the Peace Corps in America. Voluntary Service Overseas. What they do for young people and with young people is inspiring. Why not challenge them and many other organisations ­ from the Armed Forces to Community Groups ­ to come up with ideas for a school leaver programme, lasting a few months. Something · that prepares teenagers for their responsibilities as adult citizens · that enables them to meet people from different backgrounds, and to learn about the realities of life in different communities · and which teaches them the lifelong lesson that we' re all in this together · that we have duties to our fellow citizens · and that self-respect and self-esteem come from respecting others and putting their needs first. I want us to debate what form this new national movement could take. It should build on the work that has already been done by the Russell Commission, set up to create a new national framework for youth engagement and volunteering. We should involve young people in the creation of this new national movement, to make sure that it' s relevant and inspiring - not a dull, worthy obligation. We should involve businesses, social action organisations, community leaders and faith groups. But above all, we should view this new enterprise as something for every young person in our country. An essential part of growing up to be a British citizen, not just an add-on extra for a select few. Conclusion British society cannot be, as the Labour peer Bhiku Parekh once argued, a community of communities. Our nation is not a blank sheet in which each goes his own way. It is a shared home with values which make it tolerant and hospitable in the first place. We need to build that home together. We need to re-assert faith in our shared British values which help guarantee stability, tolerance and civility. If we

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lack belief in ourselves, then we transmit a fatal lack of resolution to defend liberal values against those who would destroy them. Sometimes liberalism can decay into relativism, and respect for others can become an unwillingness to proclaim confidence in what we know to be right. W.B. Yeats warned of the consequences when the best lack all conviction and the worst are full of passionate intensity. The best answer to the passionate intensity of those dedicated to destroying the liberal order is a passionate commitment to defend it. That is a truly noble cause at a time of trial. David Cameron MP

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