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"preening sophistication"?

Posted by ESL on March 27, 2004

Look into the middle of the passage... see 'In the two and a half years since 9/11...'?
Could you explain the phrase 'preening sophistication' here?
And could you rephrase what kind of VOICE it is at all? What is the attitude of the people in the article towards the war on terror, briefly?

Thanks!