How about defining “al-Qaida”?

This is a really informative and stimulating review by noted terrorism expert Peter Bergen of an explosive new documentary by Adam Curtis called The Power of Nightmares

It argues something that I have long believed, that the al-Qaida threat has been hugely exaggerated by warmongering neocons and a sensationalistic media.  They have created a largely fictious construct that takes spontaneous and independent acts of terrorism, crime and resistance around the world as part of a shadowy, world-spanning conspiracy.  There is a threat, to be sure, but we are not helped by weaving over-the-top worst-case scenarios that are utterly out of touch with reality.

It also provides some really telling examples drawn from the Cold War about the methodology (or really lack thereof) used by the neocons in making their wildly exaggerated threat assessments.  The example about their "proof" that the Soviets had created super-silent subs is really a classic. 

It sounds like a far more profound and hardhitting contribution to the 9/11 debate than Michael Moore’s "Fahrenheit 9/11".


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