'Justice Talking:' Exporting Democracy

The Debate Over the U.S.'s Role on the World Stage

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Morton Halperin, left, and Clifford D. May participated in the debate. Justice Talking hide caption

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The war in Iraq has stirred the long-standing debate over whether the United States should impose democracy on other nations — even those with brutal dictators. NPR's Margot Adler moderates a Justice Talking debate on the subject between former State Department official Morton Halperin and Clifford D. May, president of a think tank on terrorism.

The two debaters come from opposite sides of the political spectrum. May is president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a think tank on terrorism created after the Sept. 11 attacks. He was formerly communications director for the Republican National Committee. Morton Halperin is director of the Open Society Institute's Washington, D.C., office. He served in the Clinton, Nixon and Johnson administrations, most recently as director of the policy planning staff at the State Department.

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