Patriotic War Protesters and Hawkish Humanitarians: An Examination of the Identities and Fantasies (Re)Kindled in the Battle for Iraq
My research question concerns the following: If the competing European discourses which underpinned the emergence of the Westphalian state system reveal something about the ideas of Europeans who produced them, what might current fissures in the American populace tell us about the desires, hopes, and ambitions coming to play in the present interregnum? What interests me is not so much the outcome of the dispute between these competing ‘social forces,’ but rather the field of vision that is being produced in the spaces between. Unlike the previous resolution which contained the problem of difference within states, current discourses seem to suggest that the global spaces housing an absolute Other are shrinking and that the boundaries between Us and Them are increasingly transcending state forms. How are these current images and visions being played out with regards to the American domestic debate over the war in Iraq? What understandings of difference or geopolitical space are being crystallized at the points of intersection and what understandings are being eclipsed or left behind? More generally, I wonder what precursors for the future world order may be found at the current historical crossroads that is, in part, signified by the Battle for Iraq. To be clear, none of this has much to do with the actual events occurring on the ground in Iraq – which may or may not unsettle these discursive frameworks. Rather, I want to know what American dream(s) does the Battle for Iraq enable? And what implications does this have for those of us who, in various ways, may be left to live the American dream?