9/11 Ten-Year Anniversary and The Power of Nightmares

Written by Ralph E. Stone. Posted in Opinion, Politics

Published on September 11, 2011 with 2 Comments


Highly recommended: The Power of Nightmares by Adam Curtis.

By Ralph. E. Stone

September 11, 2011

Prior to 9/11, the threat of radical Islamism as a massive, sinister organized force of destruction, specifically in the form of al-Qaeda, was a myth perpetrated by politicians in many countries – particularly by American neo-conservatives in the Bush inner circle – in an attempt to unite and inspire their people following the failure of earlier, more utopian ideologies.

9/11 put al-Qaeda on the map and our budget-busting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq gave al-Qaeda legitimacy while serving as an excellent recruiting tool.  In the meantime, under constant fear mongering, Americans gave up their privacy and rights in the name of security.  America’s “mission accomplished” created an unstable, divided, economically devastated nation.  Closure for me would begin with a public apology from George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Condoleezza Rice.  Instead, we will get more self-serving books like Cheney’s “In My Time.”

Are we winning this so called war on terrorism?

Many years ago, I saw and highly recommend a three-part documentary entitled “The Power of Nightmares,” subtitled ”The Rise of the Politics of Fear,” a BBC documentary film series, written and produced by Adam Curtis.  The series was first broadcast in the United Kingdom in late 2004 and has subsequently been broadcast in multiple countries and shown in several film festivals, including the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.  Curtis’ film explores the origins in the 1940s and 50s of Islamic Fundamentalism in the Middle East, and Neoconservatism in America, parallels between these movements, and their effect on the world today.

Ralph E. Stone

Ralph E. Stone

I was born in Massachusetts; graduated from Middlebury College and Suffolk Law School; served as an officer in the Vietnam war; retired from the Federal Trade Commission (consumer and antitrust law); travel extensively with my wife Judi; and since retirement involved in domestic violence prevention and consumer issues.

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