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Politics & Current Affairs

History of Militarism

MIT historian John Dower examines the history of American militarism through its justifications for military expenditure, namely that other cultures lack the capacity for Western logic.

“After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, says Dower, an expert on Japan and modern warfare, the Bush administration, even more than was commonly recognized, derived its descriptions of America’s new enemies from the older ideas and language of World War II. In a speech President George W. Bush gave on Aug. 30, 2005, roughly marking the 60th anniversary of the Allies’ victory in Japan, Dower notes, Bush emphasized how the United States’ ongoing struggle in Iraq was, like the struggle against the Japanese, a fight against ‘kamikaze pilots on suicidal missions’ and ‘commanders animated by a fanatical belief’ in their own cause.”


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