All modern wars, even when their aims are the traditional ones, such as territorial aggrandizement or the acquisition of scarce resources, are cast as clashes of civilizations — culture wars — with each side claiming the high ground, and characterizing the other as barbaric. The enemy is invariably a threat to “our way of life,” an infidel, a desecrator, a polluter, a defiler of higher or better values. The current war against the very real threat posed by militant Islamic fundamentalism is a particularly clear example.

Susan Sontag (1933-2004) American essayist, novelist, activist
Speech receiving the Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels (Peace Prize of the German Book Trade), Frankfurt (12 Oct 2003)

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Added on 21-Jan-09 | Last updated 21-Jan-09
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