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#743#744#745#746 Episode #747 - The Tyranny of Enemy Images - 2
(The Fools' Choice Of Totalitarianism Or "Terrorism")



Mon 24 April 2017'  Remi Broulin, Kim Howells, Monty Python, Douglas Valentine, John Perkins (reading)
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2This time, we continue the theme from episode 746, which highlighted how "enemy images" reduce people's ability to empathize and to make objective judgments, as opposed to a clear focus on observable reality. We look at a word which since 1979 has become the basis of innumerable laws, but which lacks a legal definition. Professor Remi Broulin describes the findings of his research into the multiple meanings of the word "terrorism", and Robin Upton declares that, like the "war on terror", he will only use such a loaded invoker of enemy images, if at all, inside double quotes.
Another episode in our series on how "enemy images" can corrupt our perceptions and quiet our inner moral compass, frustrating our natural tendency for empathy and mutual understanding. This time we focus on the word "terrorism", beloved by commercially-controlled media but for which the US government has said there is not point even trying to agree a globally agreed definition. Did you know that this word was hardly used by US presidents until late 1983, after which point it became a common feature, even applied retroactively to explain historical events which when they happened were not described as "terrorism"? Did you know that the US Pentagon was unimpressed by claims from the executive branch that "terrorists" posed any significant threat, or that the US has come to use the word "terrorism" in ways consistent with its use by Israel, including a rejection of "moral equivalence" - the idea that the same rules should apply to all sides in a conflict: i.e. that whether a course of action is defined as "terrorism" should not depend who does it. A 2012 recording of Professor Remi Broulin should provide answers to these questions. His introductory observation that "if a state is involved directly or indirectly in an act of terrorism, then it's not an act of terrorism" echoes an idea we first touched upon in episode 706.

We begin with a 5 minute echo of the corporate media dialogue surrounding the enemy image of the "Muslim terrorist", a 2015 interview of Kim Howells, a former chair of the UK Parliamentary Committee which has nominal oversight of the UK's intelligence agencies (MI5, MI6 and GCHQ). His interviewer stated that "We're all on that side of the debate about what to do about terrorism, we all want more done" and in response asks "Do you want to feel liberated enough to allow your children to walk down the street as they've done for generations, or are you so worried about them that you're going to demand very special protection so that they're not murdered on the streets by some religious fanatic. That is something society has got to decide on." This, together with analysis of an article on the use of entrapment in creating terrorists forms the introduction to our main speaker, Professor Remi Broulin. His hour long interview from 2012 lightened slightly mid-way by The Mosquito Hunters, a short sketch from Monty Python's flying circus.

We conclude with a pair of contrasting character studies. Firstly, a section from Guns And Butter in which Douglas Valentine gives a thumbnail sketch of Douglas Lawler whose idealism and inner sense of morality lead him to join the CIA and then try (and fail) to blow the whistle on rape and murder during the Vietnam War - instead, he was kicked out of the agency... perhaps. Finally, we hear from John Perkins, another American whose idealism lead him to begin a secret career. He gives an account of his thoughts and feelings at the first point in his life when he began to seriously doubt whether he was indeed one of the 'good guys', whether the delivery of foreign aid was in fact mainly (or ever) altruistic, or whether it was just a new veneer on the all too familiar bu$ine$$ of empire.

I am pleased to see a lot of people using quotes for the "war on terror". If you wish to show your resistance to the concept of "terrorism", I encourage you to use it only in double quotes from now on, as we do at Wikispooks!
Thanks to Palestine Studies TV for the interview of Remi Broulin. Bonnie Faulkner for the interview of Douglas Valentine. Thanks to John Perkins for his inspiring audiobook.
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