A Word of Dissent

James Shaheen

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A friend of mine who begins each morning on the cushion used to get on my nerves carrying on about oceanic oneness. Not long after September 11, though, he was hopping mad and pinning his hopes on a “daisycutter,” the most devastating conventional weapon in our military’s arsenal. Espousing absurdly reductionist views about the “clash of civilizations”—courtesy of Harvard’s Samuel P. Huntington—he quoted the eminent professor with dramatic flair: “The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.” Such big ideas! Where, I wondered, had he hidden his cushion?

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