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The mentality that 9/11 is this generation's Pearl Harbor has caused a war on a worldwide scale when it should have been seen as an attack by small radical, fundamentalists.
When there is such strong feelings of a "greater purpose" there is no room for intellectuals, who only create weakness.
The "cult of the soldier" asserts that you are either with the war or against the troops.
The nostalgia cultivated in the 90's for WWII set the stage for the mentality that 9/11 "changed everything", militarianism and need for an overarching enemy to unite against.
The infatuation with WWII prepares us for more war and more attempts to emulate the heros of the past.
Towards the end of the 20th century, when there was no enemy to unite against, the people yearned for a time when politics ceased to exist and when no one doubts the rightness of the cause.