My geography professor just sent me a link to Stuart Elden’s work and I now feel compelled to read it.
But the irony is more insidious than just this paradox. The new multicultural American identity, co-authored by Takaki and others, constitutes a critical ideological support for the so-called war on terror which includes the invasion, and ongoing occupations, of Iraq and Afghanistan. Our culture is purportedly inclusive, tolerant and, by and large, non-violent, in its resolution of domestic conflict. Their culture, by contrast, is not. Our multiculturalism is contrasted with the inherent violence of Islam and the peoples of the Middle East and Central Asia as a justification for perpetual military intervention and custodial oversight.
Needless to say, this is an extremely reductionist perspective about the US, the Middle East and Central Asia, but it is this, more than anything, I think, that explains the inability of many moderates and liberals to dissociate themselves from American militarism.