America's Postwar Mood: Making Sense of The Storm

Victory in the gulf may not have achieved all that Americans hoped for, but there are many reasons for glorious -- even giddy -- celebration

"There never was a good war or a bad peace," Benjamin Franklin wrote to Josiah Quincy in 1773, expressing a simple truth that helps explain why Americans cheer so loudly as the victorious soldiers march through the center of town, leaving behind a trail of limp ticker tape, burst balloons -- and grumbling pundits. Some people will carp at the giddy excess and point out that the U.S. is cheering while the gulf still burns. They may be overlooking something that has changed in the way Americans think about themselves and what their country has achieved by war. It is at...

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