Apparently 9/11 was “a godsend” because “it allowed them [government and security experts and officials] to create and construct this massive threat.”
If you heard that come out your average Joe, you would assume him to be a tin-foil hat nut surrounding himself in conspiratorial nonsense. But that is not what some average conspiratorial type said, it was what Professor Richard Jackson said in the documentary “A Decade of Terrorism.”
If I had to pay $2,000 to hear Jackson bang on like this, I would ask for a refund.
The only thing he correctly, but without realising it – ironically, states is that terrorists are a phantom that could “pop up” anywhere. This is objectively true. Political violence and ideological violence can come from anyone – you may not even know that they have subscribed to radical ideological or political views. Duh! Anyone can use a tactic – terrorism. Duh!
This one documentary paints so many misconceptions and myths about terrorism in such a short space of time that it is difficult to get through. However, it is still educational. It still gets you thinking. Mainly questions like “Is this guy really a Professor?“.
I grinded my teeth to get through it, see if you can too. Here’s the documentary below.
Note: You will also see a string of my comments at the bottom of the video. I just couldn’t help myself.
Here are some of the misleading or bluntly wrong things that I came across in the documentary:
- Strawman arguments: suggestions that the terrorist threat is apocalyptic, rather than could be – a possibility of being – apocalyptic. All the while ignoring groups like Aum Shinirikyo or the religious ideology beyond the Islamic State involving Imam Mahdi. Terrorism is potentially apocalyptic, does that mean to say that it actually is?
- False dichotomies: using statistics and number of event arguments in relation to natural weather events (i.e. lightning) versus ideologically-driven violence (i.e. terrorism). All the while ignoring the dramatic increase in terrorist events over the past fifteen years. How are they similar things? How is that an objective comparison?
- Lies: apparently from ’89 to ’93 there were “no terrorist” events in the USA. In fact there was. This included an assassination of a prominent Rabbi by Islamist terrorists. Why lie?
- Misdirection: and to compliment the above, during this period of time Islamist terrorist groups were bolstering – they were making numerous propaganda videos and organizing in greater ways. Why paint terrorism as having little to no impact?
- Misassociation: the association between the lack of terrorism in the USA (which was wrongly said to be zero) and the vast number of books written about the subject (which was asserted to be 3,000) apparently means something. This lacks qualitative focus… were the books written on terrorist history? On the numerous amount of terrorist atrocities in other countries? On geopolitics and terrorism?
- Blame: instead of acknowledging that there are people out there willing to commit religious, political or ideological violence; “discourse” is blamed. Ignoring free agency of those who commit terrorism and blaming the discourse about terrorism is silly. How is discourse the problem rather than terrorism existing in the first place? Which came first the discourse or the act of terrorism?
- Profiling: the assumption that most terrorists are criminals or have criminal records is a half-truth. This is true in some theaters, for some conflicts, over certain periods of time but terrorism is a dynamic state – the actors adjust, their organisations grow and diminish. How bias is it to say most terrorists are criminals without the data to back it up?
- Conflation: apparently we believe that Islam and terrorism are connected because of our bias and misperceptions. However, when you ignore the number of Islamic terrorists in the world today, their actions and the effect they have — you will understand that Islam has a connection to present day terrorism. In fact, for some of the groups that is their objective. Conflating recognizing patterns with “Islamophobia” is bad logic, isn’t it?
- Shifting: complimenting the above, that connection was shifted from terrorism to Islam to victimization to Islamophobia in the matter of minutes. This shift did not address any of the concerns a community might have with Islam or Islamic influence on terrorism and ignores those central arguments. Why such a radical shift?
- Make-believe fairy-tales: believing that terrorism will not happen. Terrorism is a tactic – one that is used quite commonly in the world today. The truth is that terrorism will happen at some point in the future and it is the duty of governments to protect its citizens. Instead, the people featured in this documentary believe that suspicion of people associated with extremism is wrong – even a non-problem, in the face of such real problems. How do you know that it will not happen?
- Problems without solutions: the documentary talks about problems but there is little to no recognizable solutions offered. What solutions are there?
- Sympathizing: apparently our legitimate violence – that is wars that are governed by international law, in which soldiers have to comply i.e. Rules of Land Warfare, ROE, OFOF is fantasy. Terrorists commit illegitimate violence but the documentary makers do not recognize this. How does this distinction justify terrorist atrocities?
- Dumb and dumber: apparently anti-personnel mines are not made for maiming soldiers on patrol to take them out of the battlefield and use up resources, but to kill civilians. Apparently they are used to intentionally kill civilians. What hogwash revisionism is this?
Here are some of the things that are correct:
- Narratives: the narrative is true that ‘we’ the West killed many civilians in the Iraq war and that narrative is successfully used by Islamists to gain recruits. Our technology is still improving as are our procedures (i.e. ROE, OFOF).
- Solutions: we should search for solutions that include peaceful solutions.