Liberal Realism or Liberal Idealism

Richard Just

in A Matter of Principle

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780520244863
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932166 | DOI:
Liberal Realism or Liberal Idealism

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This chapter reports the younger generation of liberals who have abandoned idealism for realism, thus jeopardizing the continuation of the most important defining quality of the liberal internationalist tradition. It is much more difficult to justify the Iraq war in October 2004 than it was in April 2003. Even in the absence of Al Qaeda links or weapons of mass destruction, even given the extraordinary difficulty of building a democracy in Iraq, it was clearly in our moral interest and self-interest to see Saddam removed from power. The war on terrorism and the situation in Iraq are clearly the nation's most important foreign policy priorities, as they should be. While the Democrats' embracing of foreign policy realism is disturbing, perhaps it is only a transient matter of politics; after all, political realities change quickly. It is believed that Barrack Obama's impulse is worth following, at home and abroad.

Keywords: liberal realism; liberal idealism; Iraq war; Al Qaeda; Saddam; terrorism; foreign policy; Barrack Obama

Chapter.  5588 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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