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Meeting the EnemyAmerican Exceptionalism and International Law$
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Natsu Taylor Saito

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814798362

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814798362.001.0001

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Saving Civilization

Saving Civilization

“A Distinctly American Internationalism”

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Meeting the Enemy
Author(s):

Natsu Taylor Saito

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814798362.003.0001

This chapter examines the justifications asserted for American exceptionalism in the context of the “war on terror” in order to identify some of the asserted values, identity, and mission of the United States that have remained remarkably consistent throughout its history. It begins with an overview of the six precepts of the war on terror, with particular emphasis on the claim that it is a war to preserve and protect civilization. It then considers the presumptions underlying the notion of a “civilizing mission” in relation to a universalizing yet distinctly Eurocentric international law. It argues that 9/11 has been used by George W. Bush to ensure the consolidation of a framework of international law in which American exceptionalism is structurally embedded.

Keywords:   war on terror, United States, civilization, civilizing mission, international law, 9/11, American exceptionalism, George W. Bush

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