Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Carrington: Could and Should America Have Made an Ottoman Republic in 1919
Posted by Mary L. Dudziak
Paul D. Carrington, Duke University Law School, has posted a new essay, Could and Should America Have Made an Ottoman Republic in 1919. It is forthcoming in the William & Mary Law Review (2008), and it draws from his 2005 book, Spreading America's Word: Stories of its Lawyer Missionaries. Here's the abstract: Numerous Americans, perhaps especially American lawyers, have since the 1780s presumed to tell other peoples how to govern themselves. In 2006, that persistent impulse was once again echoed in an address to the American Bar Association by a Justice of the Supreme Court. The purpose of this essay is to question the wisdom of this evangelical ambition, especially when the form of instruction includes military force. It is draws on Spreading America's Word (2005) and directs attention to the hopes of American Protestant Zionists to make a democratic republic in Ottoman Palestine. It suggests that chances were better in 1919 than they are in 2008, but were none to good at that time. It rejects the appeal of the militant "neo-conservatives" who expressed their hopes and expectations in The Project for A New American Century, an instrument that should be read and remembered for centuries to come.