Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. --Paulo Freire
After completing this documentary tonight, I have mixed emotions of how I feel about the message behind it. I wholeheartedly agree that the methods by which the fight against terrorism was fought were faulty, based on lies, and often ineffectual. I agree very strongly that the use of "politics of fear" is something that needs to be curbed. However, I don't agree with the implication of these films that we have nothing to fear, and that these individuals, organized or not, are of no threat to people around the world. Coincidentally, right after finishing the documentary, I started reading in my "World Politics" book a section by Robert A. Pape entitled "The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism." He pinpointed the rise of terrorism in the late 90's, and the strategic aims of people who carry out suicide terrorism. In 2000-2001 alone there were 53 suicide terrorist incidents, and these numbers had been spiking towards the end of the 90's. These figures and others cited in his work indicated to me that there was an issue and a threat that definitely needed to be addressed during this time, but was simply not addressed in the correct fashion. It cannot be denied that Osama Bin Laden and others did have direct intentions to harm the United States, seeing as he and others signed a "fatwa" in 1998 that read, "The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies- civilians and military- is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in and country in which it is possible to do it.." (World Islamic Front, 1998). However, this film did shed light on how false enemies get created when fighting against something that is hard to understand, and how these created lies don't solve anything.
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