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kottke.org posts about Mike Dawson

How 90s WWII nostalgia turned the US response to 9/11 into The Good War

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 11, 2018

The Good War is a comic (graphic novella?) by Mike Dawson and Chris Hayes that argues that 90s nostalgia for World War II — Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, Tom Brokaw’s The Greatest Generation — led the US to wrongly associate 9/11 with Pearl Harbor and the “War on Terror” with WWII, leading to all kinds of disastrous consequences.

Good War Comic

The comic is based on The Good War on Terror, a piece Hayes wrote in 2006.

On September 11, 2001, George W. Bush wrote the following impression in his diary: “The Pearl Harbor of the 21st century took place today.” He wasn’t alone in this assessment. In the days after the attacks, editorialists, pundits and citizens reached with impressive unanimity for this single historical precedent. The Sept. 12 New York Times alone contained 13 articles mentioning Pearl Harbor.

Five years after 9/11 we are still living with the legacy of this hastily drawn analogy. Whatever the natural similarities between December 7, 1941, and September 11, 2001, the association of the two has led us to convert—first in rhetoric, later in fact—a battle against a small band of clever, murderous fundamentalists into a worldwide war of epic scale.

As Hayes hints at in the essay, the Vietnam War might have been a better model for how Americas should have reacted to 9/11. (via daring fireball)