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Are We Doomed To 'Cultures Of War'?20:59


Several years after the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush visited a San Diego naval station and gave a speech. In it he said, "Once again, war came to our shores with a surprise attack that killed thousands in cold blood... and once again, we will not rest until victory is America's and our freedom is secure."

Bush's "once again" phrasing was in reference to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It was a deliberate use of language frequently heard in the months and years after the 9/11 attacks gave way to the Iraq War.

To John Dower's ears, the Pearl Harbor references meant something more. Dower is a professor emeritus of history at MIT, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. In his book, "Cultures of War", he draws the disturbing lines that connect what he calls a human propensity for war and folly.



Excerpt reprinted from "Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor / Hiroshima / 9-11 / Iraq" by John W. Dower (c) 2010. Used with permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

This segment aired on September 7, 2011.

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