Introduction. The “New” Normal
1. For example, New Orleans in 2005 and the New York City area in 2012 were both
severely damaged by storm surges; aft er years of fi nancial crisis, Detroit fi led for
bankruptcy in 2013; and in the summer of 2012, half of all counties in the continen-
tal United States (over 1,521 entities) were federally declared disaster areas due to the
wide- ranging eff ects of drought (Suhr 2012).
2. Th e reclassifi cation project was fi rst discovered by the historian Matthew Aid
(2006), who provides an extensive review of the case and litigation as well as key
documents, including some of those discussed here.
3. At the height of the fi rst Red Scare in the aft ermath of World War I, Warren Hard-
ing (1921) argued for a “return to normalcy,” creating a script that has been used to
create a new standard of everyday expectation coterminous with an expansion of
the security state.
4. For detailed historical assessments of the eff ects of Pearl Harbor on American po-
liti cal thought as well as the production of the security state apparatus, see Dower
2010; Gaddis 2004; Rudgers 2000; R. Wohlstetter 1962.
5. President Truman used this phrase on July 26, 1945, ten days aft er the fi rst nuclear
bomb was detonated secretly in New Mexico, in his Potsdam Declaration demand-
ing Japa nese surrender. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and military planners of
the Iraq invasion used the phrase “shock and awe” repeatedly to describe their plan
of attack on Iraq in 2003, installing a crypto- nuclear referent to the campaign and
promising a new kind of war spectacle for mass media. On the military theory of
“shock and awe” and its relationship to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki, see Ullman and Wade 2006. See also Dower 2010 for an extensive discus-
sion of the relationship of Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima to post- 2001 militarism; and
Freedman and Dockrill 2004, 73.
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