In what may be the ultimate feat of subtlety and indirection, [the europeans] want to control de behemoth by appealing to its conscience.
Americans do not argue, even to themselves, that their actions may be justified by raison d'état. They do not claim the right of the stronger or insist to the rest of the world, as the Athenians did at Melos, that "the strong rule where they can and the weak suffer what they must." Americans have never accepted the principles of Europe's old order nor embraced the Machiavellian perspective. The United States is a liberal, progressive society through and through, and to the extent Americans believe in power, they believe it must be a means of advancing the principles of a liberal civilization and a liberal world order.
This enduring American view of their nation's exceptional place in history, their conviction that their interests and the world's interests are one, may be welcomed, ridiculed, or lamented. But it should not be doubted.
Paradise and Power Não queria deixar uma impressão negativa do livro de Robert Kagan. É um livro verdadeiramente interessante. A ideia que apresenta, e que já foi amplamente debatida desde a publicação do artigo Power and Weakness, é muito simples mas nem por isso menos certeira: o pacifismo europeu deve-se mais à fraqueza do que a convicções profundas. Alguns extractos: