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Is Flawed Terrorism Research Driving Flawed Counterterrorism Policies?


Is Flawed Terrorism Research Driving Flawed Counterterrorism Policies?

Michael German

More than thirteen years after the U.S. intelligence community named the prevention of terrorism its number one goal, it seems to have little understanding of what drives terrorism, or how to counter it.


Thank you for the excellent analysis, Mr. German.

Conservatives work to protect the status quo. That’s why they regard any challenge to the existing power structure as a threat to their very own existence. The concept of law and order, if enforced through rigid protocols suits authoritarian types. That’s why they saw long-haired anti-war protesters as a problem.

The line from Easy Rider hits this… when Jack Nicholson as “folk lawyer” explains the mentality of the South. Its old-school conservative ethos has spread throughout the nation largely due to noxious entities like Fox “news,” and the growth of religious fundamentalism:

“They talk to you a lot about freedom, but a really free person scares them; and when they’re scared, they’re dangerous.”

This is one of many key insights:

“Simply put, the government continues to be the primary sponsor of radicalization studies because they justify counterterrorism policies that maximize its policing powers.”

I would like to add something else and it’s related to the embedded Biblical belief in good versus evil. This premise sets up a construct of polarity that is very deeply-rooted. What this construct does then is create “with us” or “against us” binary categories. Anyone who falls outside of a particular inclusive category becomes suspicious… an alien or outsider.

So much in the way of film story, news story, and the novel’s traditional literary structure centers on the theme of two teams vying for good, or one individual overcoming evil/temptation to align again with The Good.

Were it not for the power of these deeply-set memes, it would be much harder for modern news organizations to endlessly repackage the “cowboy” versus “Indian” theme, or any of its myriad variations on that same overly simplistic axiom.

All shades of gray and nuance are lost.


More likely you work for an agency that does not want to be second-guessed ON its new McCarthy style programs. After all, you took solid scholarship and deliberately played it down, along with its author. Sounds like a typical Conservative attacking when the speaker can’t defend himself or herself. I mean, you old school Conservatives (which YOU have self-identified as many times in the past) hardly like the ACLU and since thus far, Tom Carberry isn’t here to roast anyone with ACLU affiliations, that job goes to someone next in line.