Friday, July 29, 2005
The Power of Nightmares
In the past, politicians promised to create a better world. They had different ways of achieving this. But their power and authority came from the optimistic visions they offered to their people. Those dreams failed. And today, people have lost faith in ideologies. Increasingly, politicians are seen simply as managers of public life.The three part series is available for download or steaming from Internet Archive.
But now, they have discovered a new role that restores their power and authority. Instead of delivering dreams, politicians now promise to protect us from nightmares. They say that they will rescue us from dreadful dangers that we cannot see and do not understand. And the greatest danger of all is international terrorism. A powerful and sinister network, with sleeper cells in countries across the world. A threat that needs to be fought by a war on terror.
But much of this threat is a fantasy, which has been exaggerated and distorted by politicians. It’s a dark illusion that has spread unquestioned through governments around the world, the security services, and the international media.
Episode 1, "Baby It’s Cold Outside"
At the heart of the story are two groups: the American neoconservatives, and the radical Islamists. Both were idealists who were born out of the failure of the liberal dream to build a better world. And both had a very similar explanation for what caused that failure. These two groups have changed the world, but not in the way that either intended. Together, they created today’s nightmare vision of a secret, organized evil that threatens the world. A fantasy that politicians then found restored their power and authority in a disillusioned age. And those with the darkest fears became the most powerful.
Episode 2, "The Phantom Victory"
At the heart of the story are two groups: the American neoconservatives, and the radical Islamists. In this week’s episode, the two groups come together to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. And both believe that they defeat the Evil Empire, and so had the power to transform the world.
Episode 3, "The Shadows in the Cave"
At the heart of the story are two groups: the American neoconservatives, and the radical Islamists. Last week’s episode ended in the late ’90s with both groups marginalized and out of power. But with the attacks of September 11th, the fates of both dramatically changed. The Islamists, after their moment of triumph, were virtually destroyed within months, while the neoconservatives took power in Washington. But then, the neoconservatives began to reconstruct the Islamists. They created a phantom enemy. And as this nightmare fantasy began to spread, politicians realized the newfound power it gave them in a deeply disillusioned age. Those with the darkest nightmares became the most powerful.
I've just watched today's Democracy Now report on Link TV, and heard and an excellent analysis, by Mel Goodman, of the underlying issues of Fitzgerald's investigation; namely, how we were mislead into an illegal war.
Searching, "Mel Goodman,CIA," on the internet led me here to discover "The Power of Nightmares."
Great link. Thanks.
And Merry Fitzmas!