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Oceania The Power of Nightmares and The New Al-Qaeda

Discussion in 'Oceania Discussion Boards' started by Katana_Geldar, Dec 8, 2005.

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  1. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Sorry if I made a mistake and aplogies in advance if thiks thread gets ugly.

    Who's been watching the series?

    I hate to break it to you Ender, but they have the same sort of argument as your best mate Micheal Moore but on a lesser basis.

    FEAR.

    What does everyone think?
  2. TheOzhaggis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2000
    star 5
  3. Detonating-Rabbit Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2003
    star 5
    I think it was on Foreign Correspondent... :)
  4. Tyi-Maet_Nefer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2005
    star 6
    Never heard of it... did you say it's a TV series or was a one-off documentary?
  5. Rebel_Padawan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 11, 2003
    star 4
    is that the thing on SBS?

    I caught a little bit of it last night, interesting... if i could have been bothered to sit down and watch it from the start!
  6. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    The Power of Nightmares was a three-part documentary series that screened Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night on The Cuttting Edge with George Negus, Next week on the same three nights the New Al-Qaeda will broadcast,

    Honestly, don't you people watch SBS? :p
  7. SithLord-Mixo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2002
    star 5
    Excellent series. Micheal Moore! gee there is a wealth of truth from his lips lol
  8. Tyi-Maet_Nefer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2005
    star 6
    Only the foreign movies.... :p
  9. Shadow_of_Evil Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2001
    star 6
    What about Mythbusters!!! ;)
  10. SithLord-Mixo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2002
    star 5
    oh so many myths are busted there lol. I do love it though
  11. Tyi-Maet_Nefer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2005
    star 6
    Of course, my mistake. MYTHBUSTERS!!!! [face_dancing]

    Is one of the coolest shows. That's the only regular thing I watch on SBS. :D
  12. Sai-Mera_Saa Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2002
    star 4
    For those who didn't watch the series, and who may be interested in an argument nonetheless, could you comment on the general points being made?
  13. Rebel_Padawan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 11, 2003
    star 4
    What about Iron Chef!!!

    Anyway, back on topic...
  14. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    Here is a nice article on Wikipedia

    I'll read through it and tell you what I was thinking.

    Though I did like the ironic 'phantom victory' and 'phantom threat'. Hint hint.
  15. SithLord-Mixo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2002
    star 5
    Wikipedia should never be used as a reference!
  16. Sai-Mera_Saa Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2002
    star 4
    Very interesting - especially the linked page of responses that Curtis made to BBC viewer questions. While I have no background on the issue, it seems to me that The Power of Nightmares has hit upon a fundamentally plausible point: political rhetoric is only as veridical as the political climate in which it exists. I would be curious to know whether Curtis thinks this model can be applied to a domestic situation in like manner.
  17. Amaya_Unduli Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2005
    star 3
    As the wikipedia source says:

    At the heart of the story are two groups: the American neoconservatives and the radical Islamists. Both were idealists, who were born out of the failure of the liberal dream to build a better world and both had a very similar explanation of what caused that failure. These two groups have changed the world, but not in the way that either intended. Together, they created today's nightmare vision of a secret organised evil that threatens the world, a fantasy that politicians then found restored their power and authority in a disillusioned age. And those with the darkest fears became the most powerful.

    Where's the evidence of that? The Americans have done a very good job of creating this 'phantom threat' all by themselves. Now we just have other countries (such as our own) latching on to the campaign because it is a useful lever to scare people into allowing horrendously wrong laws to be passed.

  18. SithLord-Mixo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 21, 2002
    star 5
    In academic circles Wikipedia is a laughing stock and referencing it is frowned upon!
  19. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    The only reason I went to wikipedia is that hardly anyone but me watched the documentary so if you have no idea what the thesis of the doco was the article gives you some idea about it.

    Where's the evidence of that? The Americans have done a very good job of creating this 'phantom threat' all by themselves. Now we just have other countries (such as our own) latching on to the campaign because it is a useful lever to scare people into allowing horrendously wrong laws to be passed.


    Amaya, the doco said that they created a phantom threat and made it so real that they ended up believeing it themselves. They used the Soviet Union as an example, many of the things the US said about the Soviets in the latter part of the Cold War was propoganda and then when the Soviet Union collapsed they said it was because of the US when in actual fact it collapsed from within.

    I found thew third night of the Power of Nightmares to be quite funny actually, the so-called 'terror-cells' in the US which was pretty much the government telling the people that they were doing something.

    Don't get me wrong, I haven't swallowed this theory whole-heartedly. This phantom menace might have been the case earlier, perhaps before Iraq. But after watching the new Al=Qaeda last night it seems no longer to be the case. The New Al-Qaeda is on again tonight and tomorrow night, 8.30 on SBS.
  20. Sai-Mera_Saa Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2002
    star 4
    It strikes me that the issue is not so much whether Curtis is right, but whether what he suggests is plausible. If there is any substance to the concept of attaining power through invented fear, then people would be wise to adopt a critical reading/viewing eye when approaching world (and even domestic) events. Fear operates through people reacting instead of thinking - something that tends to happen an awful lot these days.

    Whether the US, or anyone else for that matter, actually did what Curtis suggests is really a moot point by now. What I see as important is trying to understand how this sort of analysis contributes to our knowledge of international ideologies in such a way that we can further peace in the future.
  21. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    [face_clap]

    Very well said, George Orwell argued in '1984' that the biggest danger for us is to not ask questions and to just go along with stuff just because it's easier.
  22. Sai-Mera_Saa Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2002
    star 4
    And Orwell was right. Can you really envision a city of people who critically evaluate the 'news', yet degenerate into riots? Of course not. Maintaining an opinion, however, especially in the face of what is 'popular', requires considerable effort - as Katana pointed out. I can only hope that people like Curtis can raise the world's awareness of how fear, hate and terror can be used to effect a facade of administrative protection (i.e. power through 'upholding' oppositional identity).
  23. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    glad to see that someone on here agrees with me, :D

    Staying informed does take effort and so does having an opnion which is why I think people are really missing the point with thought-provoking documentaries such as these and ones by Micheal Moore and Outfoxed and The Corporation. It doesn't really matter if you agree with them or not, most of the time the point is not being forced down your throat (well, maybe with Farenheit 911 but that's not the point).
    We need to ask questions and think for ourselves and we have a prime example of what happens of we just follow our leaders blindly: Nazi Germany.

    More and more in the media I am seeing people told to shut up and go with the flow, or else be told the level of intelligenbce theyr should have which is always lower than the average person. Think of shows like ET, 8 Simple Rules and Stacked and movies like the American Pie series as well as about all of Adam Sandler's movies.
    I know this is little more than a rant and perhaps way off topic, but we need to THINK. If we did, those riots wouldnt have happened.
  24. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    You know, you'd benefit far more from reading something like "Hold War Inc", "World in Collision", or any number of serious works on terrorism rather than listening to tabloid-style sensationalism Katana?

    E_S
  25. Sai-Mera_Saa Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2002
    star 4
    About time you showed up E_S. :p I've been holding out for a debate about this.

    While I have not seen the documentary in question, I contest that media based analysis of politics, ideology and world events should not be labeled 'sensationalist' merely due to its presentation medium. The clarity and validity of ideas on the subject of, for instance, terrorism, does not depend on the reputation of those raising them, nor does the educational benefit of such thoughts diminish with their proximity to the evening news. I grant wholeheartedly that there are many great books on terrorism (and many other subjects for that matter), however I question the wisdom of inventing a hierarchy where published material is automatically granted standing above documentary productions.

    The value of television based documentaries to communicate a message to many people in a format that the general population can understand is not to be underestimated. While it is true that Michael Moore and others have a habit of abusing the persuasive nature of 'factually based' presentations, this does not invalidate the conclusions of documentaries in general. Curtis, I would wish to argue, has a very beneficial point to make about the relationship between power and terror - two aspects of the modern world that people could do with being more informed about. If his documentary series can take positive steps in this direction, then I believe it is of a comparable value to the books you mention.

    There you go mate - go for it. :D
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