The ideological position common to nearly everyone in the system is that America is best, its ideals perfect, its history spotless, its actions and society at the highest levels of human achievement and greatness. To argue with that—if that is at all possible—is to be “un-American” and guilty of the cardinal sin of anti-Americanism, which derives not from honest criticism but from hatred of the good and the pure…. The substance of American discourse is that it is divided into black and white, evil and good, ours and theirs. It is the task of a lifetime to make a change in that Manichean duality that seems to be set forever in an unchanging ideological dimension.
Edward Said, November 2002
—From Oslo to Iraq and the Road Map: Essays