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The years before the twin towers attack the U.S. was in the grip of a strange prolonged obsession with WWII.
Memories of former glory rushed in to fill the vacuum as our politics were dominated by the petty and trivial.
Per Howard Zinn a WWII bombadier, "We are miseducating the young to believe military herioism is the noblest form of heroism. The current infatuation with WWII prepares us for more war, more military adventures, more attempts to emulate the military heroes of the past."
The stranded view of 9/11 is that it "changed everything", but in its rhetoric and symbolism, the WWII notalgia laid the conceptual groundwork for what was to come.
The Strange Brew of Nationalism and Militarism.
This is what the nation sought in the waning days of the 20th Century. Americans were longing for somehting greater, more noble and less petty than politics.
But politics turns out ot be the bulwark we have against the collective madness war engenders. When politics dies, when it is duffocated underneath the warm blanket of patriotic consensus. The conscience of the republic dies along with it.
In the great struggle for the future of the free world, the intellectual cannot be trusted. His concern for the laws of war means he is weak and cowardly and will contribute to defeat. Only the true soldier can win the war.
For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press! It is the soldier not the poet who has given us freedom of speech! It is the soldier, not the agitator who has given us the freedom to protest!
The WWII that emerges from the late 90's is one scrubbed clean of its moral complexity. There is no mention of American Big Business financing the build up of the Nazi war machine.
In the years leading to the Iraq War, America's society watched a barrage of WWII movies that left Americans with a romanticized version of what war is.
Responsibility for killing another human being is the single most pervasive, traumatic experiece of war.