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Boston Globe: A Manifesto For Those Who Reject The Extremes

TODAY’S POLITICAL scene is not a friendly place for people who don’t see the world in stark black-and-white categories — people who, for instance, strongly condemn human rights abuses toward detained terror suspects in United States custody, but just as strongly reject the mentality that views the United States as the chief perpetrator of human rights abuses in the world today. Now, some of the politically homeless are building a home of their own, known as the Euston Manifesto.

The manifesto, which can be found at eustonmanifesto.org, was authored last March by a group of British academics, journalists, and activists headed by Norman Geras, emeritus professor of politics at Manchester University. In September, a group of American supporters of the manifesto issued their own statement, “American Liberalism and the Euston Manifesto.”

The signatories are truly a varied group. A few, such as American Enterprise Institute scholar Michael Ledeen, could be described as conservative. Some, notably Martin Peretz, editor-in-chief of The New Republic, are noted “liberal hawks” with the reputation of right-wing Democrats. Many others are liberals: emeritus Harvard professor sociologist Daniel Bell; Progressive Policy Institute president Will Marshall, the founder of the Democratic Leadership Council; noted psychiatrist Walter Reich; feminist legal scholar and City University of New York professor Cynthia Fuchs Epstein.

The signatories of the Euston Manifesto, American and international, stress that there is no consensus among them on some key policy issues, including the military intervention in Iraq. What brings them together is a commitment to liberal values in the broadest sense of the word — and an understanding that these values must be defended from the grave threat of radical Islamist terrorism.

link to full text online