Earlier this month Morocco, one of America's closest Arab allies, held national elections. Touted as a bold step toward democracy, the vote was closely watched in the West. But the elections, rather than proving a success, have raised difficult questions about the future of Moroccan democracy and highlighted the flaws in America's approach to democracy promotion.
In the lead-up to the polls, analysts painted the contest as a test of Islam's political strength. Islamists had risen to power in Iraq, Palestine, and Turkey; and many wondered whether Morocco would be next.
The time of year has again arrived when the U.S. Congress considers funding levels for foreign aid. But this year is different. Democrats control a majority in both the House and Senate and, for the first time in more than 12 years, will have the opportunity to set the agenda on this critical issue.
“Don't doubt yourselves. We know who we are.” Senator Barak Obama said those words to an audience of progressives in a well-received speech at the Take Back America conference in June. If only it were true. When it comes to foreign policy, we do not know who we are, at least not yet.
Today, significant fault lines divide the left on a host of major foreign policy questions. If such disagreements were simply a matter of differing policy prescriptions, that would be one thing. But the divisions are of a more fundamental nature -- a product of competing meta-narratives liberals hold to understand America's role in a post-9/11 world.