Chapter 3 - The Second Cold War on Islamist terror: negative audits  pp. 84-110

The Second Cold War on Islamist terror: negative audits

By Timothy J. Lynch and Robert S. Singh

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My own suspicion is that many Americans have enjoyed Bush's ‘terror war’ more than they wish to admit. Feeling scared can be oddly pleasurable, like participating in a real-life action thriller, when one is allied in imagined combat with a united country of brave patriots. The plot line is simple – good guys against satanic forces – and pushes aside doubts and ambiguities, like why exactly these people are out to get us. Does our own behavior in the world have anything to do with it? No, they resent us because we are so virtuous – kind, free, wealthy, democratic. The contest, as framed by Bush, invites Americans to indulge in a luxurious sense of self-pity – poor, powerful America, so innocent and yet so misunderstood. America's exaggerated fear of unknown ‘others’ is perhaps an unconscious inversion of its exaggerated claims of power.

William Greider

The pseudo-left has too great an investment in anti-Americanism to admit that there can be a reason for evil independent of Washington's control.

Clive James

This notion that inside every human being is the burning desire for freedom and liberty, much less democracy, is probably not the case. I don't think anyone knows what burns inside others. Food, shelter, security, stability. Have you read Erich Fromm, ‘Escape from Freedom’? I don't agree with him, but some people don't really want to be free.

Brent Scowcroft