Unlike conservatives, liberals willingly acknowledge that there are issues facing the world that must be solved by cooperation between nations and creation of international laws and institutions. Liberals don't believe the U.S. can achieve world peace solely through military might. They take diplomacy seriously.
The new liberal ideology sees the United States and other nations cooperating to solve the common problems facing humankind: global climate change, poverty, terrorism, and WMDs, among others. Liberals understand that this means empowering the United Nations and other international organizations. It also suggests that the U.S. has to acquire some humility; acknowledge that it cannot go it alone. Americans have to quit acting like the do-good bullies of the world.
International organizations deal with three classes of problems: military, economic, and social. While the United States is the world's dominant military power, there are international military dilemmas that cannot be solved by American unilateralism. Iraq is a prime example of this reality; among other reasons that the occupation of Iraq failed was the unwillingness of the US to form a substantial international partnership.
The new liberal ideology acknowledges the obvious: the interests of Israel are not synonymous with the interests of the United States. The U.S. will remain an ally of Israel, and defend it's right to exist, but this is not equivalent to giving the government of Israel carte blanche. On July 14th, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State, said that Israel's right to self-defense "does not exempt it from respecting the norms of international law, especially as regards the protection of civilian populations." Liberalism will return the U.S. to its historic diplomatic position of evenhandedness and regard for international law. America will work with the U.N. to defuse the deteriorating situation between Israel and its neighbors, because only multilateralism can solve the problems in the Middle East. Only multilateralism will provide real security for America and the world.
Americans believe that democracy is the best form of government, one that should be encouraged throughout the world. Unlike conservatives, liberals believe that democracy involves more than the mechanics of fair elections. Liberals believe in "civil society," a concept that is notably absent in conservative literature and foreign policy. Liberalism knows that a strong civil society is a prerequisite for democracy, that there are a variety of public and non-governmental institutions that must function before there can be an effective voting process: schools, courts and other institutions that protect human rights. Civil society is the glue that holds democratic societies together. Liberals do not share the confidence of conservatives that "the market" enables civil society; they believe that government must be held responsible for ensuring human rights.
A new liberal foreign policy has far reaching implications: It declares that the United States will abandon its self-centered conduct in the world community and embrace cooperation. It argues there must be major changes in the way internal U.S. politics are conducted: the military will no longer be treated as sacrosanct; efforts will be redoubled to diminish America's role as a weapons manufacturer; the political power of corporations will be reduced; and environmental and worker-protection laws will be strengthened.
The failure of conservatism has brought the U.S. and the world to the edge of World War III and planetary catastrophe. The good news is that this dire situation has opened the eyes of Americans to alternative views of the world, made them amenable to a radically different foreign policy-the new liberalism.