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Author Archives: Deepa Kumar and Arun Kundnani
Showtime’s hit TV series “Homeland” is about Obama’s war on terror. Similar to 24, a popular show during the Bush era, it provides a means for the national-security state to publicize fantasies of terrorist threat, while setting new norms of acceptability on issues like surveillance and political violence. It not only sells the public on the notion that the War on Terror has become a permanent state of emergency, but that educated, sober, ethical, and smart people are in charge and that we should trust them to guard us.
Cornell West, on HBO’s Real Time, reiterated his criticism that President Obama is a “war criminal” for killing innocent people through drone strikes. He went on to make a simple, but rarely heard observation, that if you “have an empire, you’re going to have war crimes.” Critical voices like his are an exception in the mainstream. For the most part, establishment liberals have either been silent or have cheered as Obama has expanded the national security state. West chastises these liberals as “morally bankrupt” for giving Obama a pass for the same problematic policies that Bush was roundly criticized for.
Rebranding the War on Terror for the age of Obama: ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ and the promotion of extra judicial killing
The Oscar-nominated film ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ has sparked debate on its justification of torture, its misuse of facts, and its pro-CIA agenda. While the focus of the debate has been on whether torture was necessary to track Osama bin Laden, scant attention has been paid to the larger, more significant message of this film: that extra judicial killing is good.
Eleven years after 9/11, the media are still asking the same question: Why do they hate us? And the same tired answer is being provided, but this time by the liberal imperialists wielding the “clash of civilizations” rhetoric with perhaps greater skill than their neocon predecessors.
When Mitt Romney stated that it was Israel’s “culture” that was responsible for the country’s superior economic development he was simply recycling an argument long used to explain black poverty in the US.
The clash of civilizations is also a liberal project. Liberal Democrats know how to sort out ‘good Muslims’