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Liberty: A Capital Idea

During a recent visit to Seattle, I encountered a young woman standing on a street corner demanding that President Bush take action to stop the genocide in Sudan.

When I asked her if she thought Bush should send troops to the region as he did in Iraq, she responded with a blank stare. It was then that I realized she had not thought that far down the road. Although she wanted to use American power to stop genocide, she did not want to get her hands dirty accomplishing the task.

Dilemmas like hers are why I often remind my students and colleagues that only the impotent and the naïve have the luxury of self-righteousness. After our five-year experience in Iraq, Americans are also learning this lesson. Read More…