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"Nothing," most Americans would probably respond. Most Americans
would claim that it is for the United States to decide for itself whether it wants
to engage or not in conflicts that arise around the world, consulting only its
own people and its own preferences. Most Americans find nothing wrong with
the United States involving itself in the Persian Gulf but not in Yugoslavia; in
Haiti but not Liberia; in Somalia but not Rwanda. Perhaps the patterns of
American engagement we see are morally defensible; perhaps they are not. But
whether or not it would actually be possible to morally reconcile our pattern of
selective action and inaction, what matters here is that most Americans
experience no need to try.

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