Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

 See the
Conversations with History Blog

See a webcast of this interview:

See also the 2006 interview
with Anatol Lieven and John
Hulsman, "Ethical Realism
and U.S. Foreign Policy"

American Nationalism: Conversation with Anatol Lieven, Senior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for Peace, May 6, 2004 by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest to day is Anatol Lieven, who is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace in Washington. He is a journalist, writer, and historian, who writes on a range of security and international affairs issues. Anatol has worked for the Times of London and the Financial Times, he has reported on and from the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. His publications include Chechnya: Tombstone of Russian Power; The Baltic Revolution: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the Path to Independence; and America, Right and Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism.

  1. Background ... family's commitment to liberal democracy ... major in history ... attraction to real-life events leads to journalism
  2. Importance of Historical Perspective ... Western journalists stuck in ahistoric paradigm ... example: Chechnya ... legacy of Cold War hatred ... Russia's misunderstanding of Chechnya ... parallels to U.S. in Vietnam and Iraq
  3. Islamic Societies ... variations in socieities ... falsity of "blank slate" paradigm ... tragic mistakes of U.S. policies in Afghanistan ... inability of U.S. to discern obvious differences ... immorality of repeated mistakes
  4. American Nationalism ... U.S. empire ... the American creed ... bellicose nationalism ... Iraq War forces neglect of Afghan nation-building ... ludicrous linkage of Ba'ath to al Qaeda
  5. The Middle East ... terrorist threats ... oil ... Israel as a liability ... perceived cultural bond ... legitimate borders of 1967 ... need to support Israeli liberals
  6. American Opinion ... ignorance of international affairs ... closing down public debate ... decline of historical studies ... Israel's continued influence ... U.S. hypocrisy vis-à-vis Muslim world ... foreign aid for Arab economic development
  7. Conclusion ... American nationalism ... advice for students

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