Terrorism: The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Terrorism: The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

by Joseba Zulaika
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0226994155

ISBN-13: 9780226994154

Pub. Date: 12/15/2009

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

In counterterrorism circles, the standard response to questions about the possibility of future attacks is the terse one-liner "Not if, but when." This mantra supposedly conveys a no-nonsense approach to the problem, but, as Joseba Zulaika argues in Terrorism, it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. By distorting reality to fit their own worldview, the architects

Overview

In counterterrorism circles, the standard response to questions about the possibility of future attacks is the terse one-liner "Not if, but when." This mantra supposedly conveys a no-nonsense approach to the problem, but, as Joseba Zulaika argues in Terrorism, it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. By distorting reality to fit their own worldview, the architects of the War on Terror prompt the behavior they seek to prevent-a twisted logic that has already played out horrifically in Iraq. In short, Zulaika contends, counter-terrorism has become pivotal in promoting terrorism.

Exploring the blind spots of counterterrorist doctrine, Zulaika takes readers on a remarkable intellectual journey. He contrasts the psychological insight of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood with The 9/11 Commission Report, plumbs the mindset of terrorists in works by Orianna Fallaci and Jean Genet, maps the continuities between the cold war and the fight against terrorism, and analyzes the case of a Basque terrorist who tried to return to civilian life. Zulaika's argument is powerful and inventive, packed with insights and ideas that provide a new and sophisticated perspective on the War on Terror.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226994154
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
12/15/2009
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments IX

Introduction: Rethinking the War on Terror 1

I The Rhetorics of Terrorism

Chapter 1 Writing Counterterrorism: The Betrayal of the Public Intellectual 17

Chapter 2 Who's Afraid of Truman Capote? Writers versus Counterterrorists 37

II Terrorist Subjectivities

Chapter 3 The Terrorist as Lover: Read My Terrorist Desire 63

Chapter 4 Eros, Terror, and Suicide: Life against Death 90

Chapter 5 Antigone, the Terrorist: The Passage à l'Acte That Traverses the Subject's Fantasy 108

III Self-Fulfilling Politics

Chapter 6 The Cold War Is Dead, Long Live Terrorism 131

Chapter 7 Dr. Strangelove Meets the Terrorist: On Political Madness 157

Chapter 8 9/11 and the Iraq War as Self-Fulfilling Prophecies 171

Epilogue The Passion for Ignorance and Its Catch-22 207

Notes 225

Index 259

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