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Talking Points: Michael Walzer on American Power

Published 2007

“First, as American citizens, we should not adopt the easy anti-Americanism that fuels and disfigures so much of the global left. We are critics of many aspects of our domestic society and of U.S. foreign policy, but we also know that our country can be and has been a force for good—in the Second World War, to take the obvious example, but also, in my view, in the founding of the UN, in the rebuilding of Europe, in Korea, in Bosnia and Kosovo, in the defeat of communism, and in the first Iraq War. And, for all our failings, we could have been a force for good in Rwanda and could still be such a force in Darfur. The refusal to rely on American power would be more reasonable if there were other powers that we could rely on. But there aren’t, and so we have to make judgments about when U.S. power should, and when it should not, be used.” —Michael Walzer, UPS Foundation Professor in the School of Social Science, in “The Vanishing American Left?Dissent, Winter 2007

Published in The Institute Letter Spring 2007