My article on the controversial BBC TV documentary series, The Power of Nightmares is available at National Review Online

UPDATE & CLARIFICATION: I've discovered that Part One's comments about Ledeen's "book" did not appear on the final broadcast version. I was reviewing a preview tape sent to me a couple of days before the programme went out. This point does lower the documentary's looney quotient, but not by much, unfortunately.

In case you haven't yet heard about the programme, the Guardian ran a long preview last week.

Next week's instalment of the series, The Phantom Victory, sounds reasonably balanced, I don't think. Here's how it's described on the BBC's website:

American Neoconservatives and radical Islamists come together to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, and both believe that it is they who have defeated the Evil Empire and now have the power to transform the world. But both fail in their revolutions.In response, the Neoconservatives invent a new fantasy enemy, Bill Clinton the depraved moral monster, to try and regain their power, while the Islamists descend into a desperate cycle of violence and terror to try and persuade the people to follow them.
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2004/10/power-of-nightmares-my-article-on.html|||10/21/2004 06:02:00 pm|||||||||
109838640929685558|||Anonymous Anonymous
Couldn't help but laugh all the way through your article at the NRO regarding the Power of Nightmares. You used all the classic tactics: "manipulating" the interviews and footage (no-one in the neocon movement *ever* manipulated evidence), "conspiracy theories" (my absolutely favourite whenever someone says something disagreable, but there's certainly a massive conspiracy against Republicans and America, am I wrong?). I especially liked the "Chomskyite" dig at the end (Chomsky - Trotsky - Trotskyite - Chomskyite - Communist ... very clever).

I was so surprised that Pipes and other people mentioned in Curtis' documentary disagreed with him. Wow, who would've thought?

I'm curious: if Curtis did get it wrong and name Ledeen as the author of "The Terror Network: The Secret War of International Terror" (I'm afraid I don't have the benefit of the transcript; I'd love to see it, how about putting it up for us), how exactly does that destroy his arguments while not finding WMDs in Iraq doesn't destroy neocon arguments? No doubt Saddam must have been involved in International Terrorism and caused 9/11 to happen, just like they said with no proof. Damn, those al-Qaeda guys, they sure get around when they're not hiding out in their caves in Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, or wherever they're supposed to be these days.

If I may be so bold as to offer a small piece of advice to you and your neo-con friends. Some self reflection is a wise thing because, believe it or not, violence and fear will never, ever create, only destroy. I would send the same message to "al-Qaeda" - that nameless mass of seething Islamic fundamentalists that somehow seem to be everywhere because the Allies invaded two countries - but I don't write Arabic very well, and wouldn't have a clue how to contact them, either.

(A thought: if we define "them" as Islamic fundamentalists, shouldn't we start defining those wonderful, peace-loving Christians in America as Christian fundamentalists, and just call this a "crusade", once and for all?)

All the best, please keep writing, it's great.
10/21/2004 08:20:00 pm|||
109856904690817849|||Blogger Eric
Well, I'm in favour of a "crusade" against a totalitarian reactionary form of Islam and support of democracy, and I'm a atheist secularist.

What is more disturbing is those on the left who are willing to act as unwitting dupes in a jihad.
10/23/2004 11:04:00 pm|||