The Cultural Contradictions of Democracy: Political Thought Since 9/11

It is a bitter irony that the tragedy of the September 11, 2001 attacks, in which some
3,000 people lost their lives, has been overshadowed by the many tragedies of their
aftermath. Consider just those perpetrated by the United States. The American
government has curtailed the civil liberties of its citizens. It has flouted national and
international law to detain and torture individuals around the world. It has stoked
nativist sentiments and become less tolerant of political dissent. Perhaps worst of
all, it defied world opinion to invade an unrelated country, and did so with such
hubris and incompetence that it locked itself into a civil war that every day kills
soldiers and civilians and exacerbates the very conflict it was meant to resolve.

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