180 weeks in the war on terror



July 24, 2022

The book is a collection of newspaper columns written in the wake of the 9/11 attacks examines the war on terror and the political troubles of the Arab world. The author particularly focuses on the extent to which ideological extremism pervaded the Middle East, not only on the fanatical periphery of Arab life, but also within its core political and journalistic institutions. The author examines the prevalence of virulently hateful conspiracy theories throughout the Middle East as well as the ways in which Arab political reformers heroically attempted to debunk them. Many of those theories revolved around the 9/11 attacks, the event that forms the thematic core of this volume: “As each year passes following the attacks of September 11, 2001, conspiracy theories surrounding that day continue to appear on Arab and Iranian TV. While it will be commemorated as a solemn day in America as in much of the world, unfortunately, in the Middle East, it will be continued to be blamed on others.” The author’s reports are lucidly written and tautly argued, and he provides an important peek into a world awash in a dangerous combination of misinformation and discriminatory contempt. Moreover, given the profound failures of the war on terror initiated during the George W. Bush administration, the author’s support for it seems at best dated, if not deeply myopic. Still, this remains an astute collection of cultural analyses and an intriguing look back into the still fresh past. Despite its limitations, the book is a worthwhile grouping of journalistic assessments of the war on terror. TW


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