chapter  5
29 Pages

The liberal roots of the American empire

ByMICHAEL C. DESCH

Why has the US, with its long-standing Liberal tradition, come to embrace the illiberal policies it has in recent years? Abroad, the US has pursued a strategy of hegemony, verging on empire, and almost unilaterally launched a preventive war in Iraq in a fashion inconsistent with its Liberal values. At home, policies such as those flowing from the USA Patriot Act, including even the rendition and torture of terror suspects, have called into question the US commitment to other important tenets of Liberalism, such as respect for individual rights and civil liberties.