Monthly Archives: April 2012

Writing the War on Terrorism passage

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Here is a passage from the book I am reading Writing the War on Terrorism by Richard Jackson. It made more sense to me than anything I have ever read about the topic:

“In reality, terrorists have never truly threatened a state, or democracy, or freedom or the way of life of an entire people; nor have they ever threatened the peace of the world or the existence of any civilisation. On the other hand, there are numerous examples where the reaction of the authorities to terrorist attacks has endangered democracy and freedom by withdrawing civil and political rights, and where the state’s eagerness to suppress dissidents has led to miscarriages of justice and human rights abuses by the security forces. In reality, it is not terrorism that threatens the essence of our societies–terrorists are tiny groups of desperate people able to do little more than commit symbolic acts of violence–but rather counter-terrorism and the dangers of over-reaction.”

I really recommend this book. Jackson does not ignore that the September 11, 2001 attacks was a horrible and atrocious event. He simply analyzes the language the United States government and media constructed after the attacks to justify the global war on terrorism. Some of the reasoning is a bit sketchy to me, but maybe I am still stuck in my American upbringing (or maybe I am just adequately cynical). Overall the book has made me question the way the attacks have been presented to me by the media and government. I am not a conspiracy theorist, and this book simply presents facts and passages from official statements and analyzes them. It does not even touch on the cause of the attacks or by whom they were carried out (honestly that stuff really annoys me), but questions the government’s idea that the war on terrorism was the only option. A really interesting read!