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The Phantom Menace...

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Tim Nonzero

The Phantom Menace...

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Shame the thought provoking documentary 'The Power of Nightmares' by Adam Curtis, wasn't shown on American TV before the election, its made big ripples across the UK. Here are some excerpts and quotes by Curtis himself from an article about the three part series..."Curtis's original idea led him in typically unexpected directions. In particular, to developing a fearful symmetry between American neoconservative thought and Islamic fundamentalism.""From this beginning, Curtis went on to deconstruct the ways in which the governments of America and Britain in particular had seized upon fear as a way of connecting with their population, and presents the war on terror as a product of this thinking. 'What I am saying,' he says, 'is that I don't think al-Qaeda exists in the way that we have been asked to understand it. There are awful atrocities, of course, and there is militant Islamic fundamentalism. But the idea of a global network of terror run by Osama bin Laden, unique in its threat, which we have been told about for three years now is, I believe, a myth. I have backed this belief up with ideas that I think show the reasons why this myth has been created.'""If there has been a theme in Curtis's work since, it has been to look at how different elites have tried to impose an ideology on their times, and the tragi-comic consequences of those attempts.""He likes to think his approach to documentary shares something with the method of a 19th-century novelist. 'You look at Bleak House, say, and Dickens throws 10 strands of news stories together and sees where they lead him. I love the idea of that.'""At the heart of his argument is the proposal that Blair and Bush have, deliberately or not, exaggerated the current danger to give themselves a new connection to their voters. 'The war between good and evil gives them a purpose. Blair has a temperamental sense of imagining the worst. What the films begin to show, though, is that they are protecting us against a myth.'""His third film in particular, he acknowledges, may expose Curtis to similar charges of naivety, in its assertion that al-Qaeda, as a global terror network, is a convenient political illusion. He has a ready response to politicians and spooks who may suggest he does not know the half of it. 'If they want our trust, they should trust us in return. Stop whispering to friendly journalists about this unknown terror, tell us the basis of your fear. Because I have looked for it, and I can't find it. If you examine the figures, they have not found any evidence of a hidden network in three years. They have managed to convict three people by association with Islamist groups. The majority of people who have been arrested under the new laws in that period are Irish terrorists.'""...'There are of course bad people in the world who have bombs. But that does not justify the scale of the fear that currently possesses people. We have been prepared by politicians and the media to expect nightmares, even to need them. If nothing else we need to get a grip.'"Full article:observer.guardian.co.uk/r...18,00.html
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