terrorism

“It goes without saying”: the Further Rhetoric of Terrorist Apologia

June 24, 2013

When the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald, then with Salon,interviewed Rene Brulin in 2010, the purpose of the conversation was to discuss Brulin’s research into the origins of the contemporary usage of the term “terrorism.” According to Brulin it has two origins. One is in the United States in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In the late 70s, President [...]


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The State of Surveillance

June 17, 2013

God knows your calling patterns. God knows your friends on Facebook, your pages liked, your rants and your dissenting comments. More – and better than the NSA or FBI – God knows what you think. Or, if there is no personal God,  if that term is just a word made of letters – G-O-D – [...]


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Notes Toward a Terror Apologist’s Rhetoric (Abridged but Unexpurgated)

June 10, 2013

This commentary first appeared in the Algemeiner on June 3, 2013. Apologia in the rhetorical tradition is not a common apology, in the simple sense of “sorry,” though it may fulfill that purpose. It may decidedly not. Apologia is a defense against accusation. Plato gave us Socrates’sApology, which was not. In the religious tradition, apologia is [...]


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A Campaign of Willful Blindness on Terrorism

May 6, 2013

. This article first appeared in the Algemeiner on May 2, 2013.   On April 15, 2013 at 2:49 p.m. two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Most of us know the details, more or less – the three dead, 264 wounded and maimed, the days of fear, of investigation and pursuit, the [...]


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The Boston Marathon Bombing and The Faith Privilege

May 3, 2013

This article first appeared in the Algemeiner on April 23, 2013.  You can read the follow up there now: “A Campaign of Willful Blindness on Terrorism.” The Boston Marathon bombing provoked enactment of what has emerged, since 9/11, as a ritual of political theater refined even beyond its long history of performance. Even while law [...]


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When Is an Open-Air Prison a Terrorist Camp?

December 13, 2012

. (This post originally appeared in the Algemeiner on December 11, 2012.) It is a term we hear a lot in the twenty-first century anti-Israel propaganda storm, flung wildly against the truth – that Gaza is an “open-air” prison. We hear it not only from Arab and Muslim anti-Semites and the committed anti-Israel ideologues, but [...]


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Reflections on the Spirit of Resistance

November 22, 2012

. Paul Newman’s 1967 film Cool Hand Luke, the apex of journeyman Stuart Rosenberg’s directorial career, imbued popular culture with many iconic scenes and memorable lines. (“What we have here – is failure to communicate.” “Sometimes nothin’ can be a real cool hand.”) Among the famous scenes is that of the prison camp boxing match [...]


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Not So Random Questions, Facts, & Observations about Gaza & Israel

November 17, 2012

. If forces in Mexico – drug cartels, for instance – were firing rockets and missiles into an area roughly covering 25% of the United States this is what it would look like. If the U.S. equivalent of one million Israelis were under threat of this bombardment on a daily basis, running for cover, hiding [...]


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Glenn Greenwald criticizes Bibi AND Obama’s “policies” of intentionally killing innocent Muslims

November 16, 2012

. Cross posted from Cif Watch by its managing editor, Adam Levick. “Every person has their own definition of terrorism.” -Glenn Greenwald. Glenn Greenwald makes characteristically hysterical claims about Israel and the US in his latest ‘Comment is Free’ piece titled Obama’s kill list policy compels US support for Israeli attacks on Gaza‘: Here are the most [...]


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Conventional

September 6, 2012

. It is the week to think about it. The Democratic Convention, this week, like the Republican before it, will be utterly so. (Well, we’ll allow a small exception for Elvis’s performance on Wednesday night.) At the Democratic Convention 100 years ago, in 1912, Woodrow Wilson gained the nomination for the presidency on the 46th [...]


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The Mystery of Terrorism, Revealed

July 26, 2012

. Cross posted at The Times of Israel. When I wrote the other day about our dumbness before the phenomenon of terrorism – so often the wanton and random killing in large numbers of those who must by any non-self-justifying reason be considered innocents – I was invoking the mystery of the moral self that can rise [...]


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We Are Not Speechless, but Dumb before Terrorism

July 20, 2012

. I had it in mind to offer today a series of many quotations on terrorism. I thought some collection of insightful commentary on the phenomenon might be of momentary worth. What provoked the thought, it may not surprise, was yesterday’s suicide bombing in Bulgaria. The U.S is now confirming its belief, in agreement with [...]


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Tyranny of Victimhood: Why the Guardian gives a free ride to reactionary Palestinian movement

November 17, 2011

. This is cross-posted by CiF Watch managing editor, Adam Levick. Yesterday, some anti-Israel agitators pretended to be “civil rights” activists by riding on buses Israeli citizens in the territories use to travel to Jerusalem. These buses do not allow non-citizens (without proper permits) to enter communities in Judea and Samaria in order to stop potential Palestinian terror [...]


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9/11/11: Home

September 18, 2011

. (The last in a thirteen-part series.) What was the response to 9/11 on the political left, the direction from which was quickly drawn the historical cover of the “squandered sympathies” meme? There is no single answer. The “left” is not a unitary political tendency. It is stalwart, mainstream Democrats in the U.S. and the [...]


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9/11/11: The Stylus Avenger

September 17, 2011

. (Twelfth in a series) It had been possible in the countryside of so many nations, on another continent, always in transit, to leave the palpable sense of 9/11, if not our emotions, behind. The last day, at Charles de Gaulle Airport amid intense security, and three weeks after the attack, Julia and I rejoined [...]


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9/11/11: Chomsky Nation

September 16, 2011

. (Eleventh in a series) On October 18, 2001, five weeks after the 9/11 attack, Noam Chomsky gave a talk at MIT, still available on the web in video and transcript form, entitled “The New War against Terror.” He employed the same slippery rhetorical constructs and argumentative ploys as were on display in his half-hearted [...]


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Little Sympathy to Squander: the American Left & 9/11

September 15, 2011

. (Tenth in a series) The antipathy to the U.S. voiced in the Guardian, on Question Time, from Baudrillard and Zizek – not merely despite 9/11, but in political sympathy with it, if not advocacy of it – found voice in the U.S. too. No small amount of it emanated from The Nation, perhaps the [...]


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9/11/11: a “Good Terror”

September 14, 2011

. (Ninth in a series) When it came to 9/11 sympathies too absent to squander, Slavo Zizek actually beat Baudrillard to the text. On September 14, 2001, only three days after 9/11, he first posted to the internet “Welcome to the Desert of the Real,” which he revised and extended several times. Later, like Baudrillard’s [...]


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9/11/11: Goering’s Defense

September 13, 2011

. (Eighth in a series) In the matter of “squandered sympathies,” let history not lose the record that as early as November 2, 2001, fewer than two months after 9/11, Jean Baudrillard notoriously produced in Le Monde, under the title “The Spirit of Terrorism,” a logically homeless piece of postmodern theory-talk that evinced the equally [...]


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9/11/11: Squandered Sympathies

September 12, 2011

(The seventh in a series) The squandered sympathies meme states that the United States, as a consequence of 9/11, was the recipient of widespread international sympathy and good will. The meme was born as soon after 9/11 as some people began to anticipate U.S. action in Afghanistan, which is to say as early as those [...]


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Left Bereft: September 11, 2001 and the Politics of the Moral Imagination

September 11, 2011

(9/11/11: the sixth in a series) I have met them at close of day Coming with vivid faces From counter or desk among grey Eighteenth-century houses. I have passed with a nod of the head Or polite meaningless words, Or have lingered awhile and said Polite meaningless words, And thought before I had done Of [...]


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