Added 1.5 Years

In this fascinating 2003 interview, cultural critic Camille Paglia explains 'why the Columbia disaster should make Bush think twice about rushing to war with Iraq.'

Camille Paglia is a rarity in the increasingly polarized world of public intellectuals, a high-profile thinker and writer who is not readily identified with any political camp or party line. She burst onto the scene in 1990 following the publication of her book, “Sexual Personae.” Paglia was a rough-trade feminist not afraid to challenge the orthodoxy of the women’s movement or its reigning sisterhood; a professor from a small college with no qualms about torching the Parisian academic trends then enthralling Ivy League humanities departments; a self-proclaimed “Democratic libertarian” who voted twice for Bill Clinton and then loudly denounced him for bringing shame to his office.

Given Paglia’s originality and unpredictability, we had no idea what to expect when we phoned her earlier this week for her opinions on the Bush administration’s looming war with Iraq. Paglia proudly describes herself as a Dionysian child of the ’60s, a generation not known for its martial spirit. And yet, during her long run as a Salon columnist, she developed an enthusiastic following among conservatives, including retired and active military personnel, for her eloquent tributes to family, tradition, country and uniformed service, as well as her stop-your-blubbering take on modern American life.

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