The American Left

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The dust, that rolling boiling falling cloud from September 11th, simply and stubbornly refuses to settle. It re-appears in war images from Afghanistan, and at home, in the invisible, postal dust of disease.

Dreams and ideas died by the thousands on that bright blue morning and here, in the “after” new dreams, new thoughts, come somehow dusted with doubt over what lies ahead. It’s a moment of opportunity, a chance to change society for the better, or it’s not, it’s just more of the same and, diminished.

On the American political left in particular the tragedy and the aftermath mean civic soul-searching, wrestling with the concept of patriotism and coming to grips with a new face of war.


Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation.