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Triptych of Terrorism

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Abstract

Images of terror, mass murder, torture, cities burning, even satellite surveillance, the world inverted—a perverse world of double standards, without ethics or morality. I am transfixed before Hieronymous Bosch’s triptych, The Temptation of St. Anthony. Suddenly a revelation: The relevance of Saint Anthony’s “temptation.”

Keywords

  • International Criminal Court
  • Bush Administration
  • Geneva Convention
  • Muslim Brotherhood
  • Islamic State

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Notes

  1. See discussion of four forms of terrorism, Hall Gardner, American Global Strategy and the “War on Terrorism” (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2005; 2007), chapter 3.

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  2. Paul Wilkinson, “Why Modern Terrorism?” in The New Global Terrorism, ed. Charles W. Kegley, 120 (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003)

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  3. On UK and European efforts to handle terrorism, see Paul Wilkinson, Terrorism versus Democracy: The Liberal State Response (London: Routledge, 2006). Xenophobic Russian nationalists are concerned with Russia’s rapidly growing Islamic population, which now numbers roughly 25 million out of 143 million and which could represent one-fifth of the Russian population by 2020 in part because of declining fertility rates among ethnic Russians.

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  4. On spiraling arms races, see Robert Jervis, Perception and Misperception in International Politics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1976).

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  5. For discussion of the security-insecurity “dilemma,” see Anthony D. Lott, Creating Insecurity (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate: 2004). The concept of “security dilemma” was articulated by John H. Herz, “Idealist Internationalism and the Security Dilemma,” World Politics 2 (January 1950), but the issue appears more of a dialectical interrelationship and interaction of perceived insecurity countered by a quest for perceived security as opposed to a “dilemma.”

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  6. Amitai Etzioni, “Leveraging Islam,” The National Interest 83 (Spring 2006).

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  7. Amitai Etzioni, “Leveraging Islam,” The National Interest 83 (Spring 2006).

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  8. James P. Piscatori, Islam in a World of Nation-States (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986). Piscatori makes distinctions between “conformist” groups that accept the divisions of the global territorial state system and those “noncomformist” groups that seek to overturn the present state system in favor of a panIslamic Ummah. But even these categories can be further subdivided.

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  9. Sayyid Qutb’s theories on Islamic values have been regarded promulgating views that are the polar opposite of neoconservative idol Leo Strauss. See Anne Norton, Leo Strauss and the Politics of American Empire (New Haven, CT: Yale University, 2005). Yet Strauss was an admirer of Andalusia in the fifteenth century when Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived in creative harmony before the Reconquista in 1492.

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  10. Dafna Linzer and Thomas E. Ricks, “Anbar Picture Grows Clearer, and Bleaker,” Washington Post, November 28, 2006.

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  11. On neocommunitarianism, see Amitai Etzioni, “A Neo-Communitarian Approach to International Relations,” Human Rights Review 7, no. 1 (July–September 2006). On the potential for a deeper and wider conflict in the Philippines, see Simon Roughneen, “Philippine Escalation May Spark Wider War” ISN Security Watch (August 8, 2007). Gull then won the presidency in August. See Ben Judah, “Erdogan’s AKP wins new mandate” ISN Security Watch (July 23, 2007), http://www.isn.ethz.ch/news/sw/ details. cfm?id=17893.

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  12. On neocommunitarianism, see Amitai Etzioni, “A Neo-Communitarian Approach to International Relations,” Human Rights Review 7, no. 1

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  13. See, for example, Fred Weir, “Russia’s Hamas Gambit” Christian Science Monitor (February 21, 2006).

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  14. Tariq Ali, “Who Really Killed Daniel Pearl?” The Guardian, April 5, 2002. As Tariq Ali pointed out, “The group which claimed to have kidnapped and killed Pearl— The National Youth Movement for the Sovereignty of Pakistan—is a confection. One of its demands was unique: the resumption of F-16 sales to Pakistan. A terrorist, jihadi group which supposedly regards the current regime as treacherous, is putting forward a 20-year-old demand of the military and state bureaucracy.” Yet if it is true that the third al-Qaida leader, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (as he purportedly confessed under torture) ordered the beheading of Daniel Pearl, then it implies a link between al-Qaida and Pakistan over the question of F-16s! French philosopher B. H. Levy believes Pearl was killed for investigating links between al-Qaida, the Pakistani ISI, and the Pakistani nuclear scientists.

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  15. See B. H. Levy, Who Killed Daniel Pearl? (Hoboken, NJ: Melville House, 2003). In September 2007, the highly acclaimed Doha Debate in Qatar raised the question: “Is It Time to Talk to Al-Qaida?”

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  16. Robert P. Hartwig, “The Cost of Terrorism: How Much Can We Afford?” National Association of Business Economics 46th Annual Meeting, October 4, 2004, Insurance Information Institute: http://www.iii.org/media/hottopics/insurance/sept11/ http://server.iii.org/yy_obj_data/binary/736854_1_0/tria.pdf (Accessed April 15, 2006). Interestingly, bureaucratic infighting between the Environmental Protection Agency and the Bureau of Homeland Security over estimates of potential damage of attacks to chemical facilities makes insurance valuation very difficult. debt is caused by defense spending and the global war on terrorism, the U.S. national debt was $5.6 trillion (57.4 percent of gross domestic product [GDP]) when George Bush Jr. came to office in January 2001; as of April 2007, it stood at roughly $8.9 trillion (roughly 65.5 percent of GDP). By September 2007, the debt will probably reach the $9 trillion limit that Congress had set in March 2006, potentially causing a government shutdown or crisis. The Bush administration has transformed previous U.S. government surpluses into major deficits.

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  17. See Tony Blankley, “An Islamist Threat Like the Nazis,” The Washington Times, September 12, 2005. http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20050912–122024-9420r.htm.

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  18. Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower (New York: Knopf, 2007), 52.

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  19. For a critique of neoconservatives as a hybrid between Plato’s “Timocrats” and Kant’s “moralizing politicians,” see Hall Gardner, American Global Strategy and the “War on Terrorism. ” For a critique of Bush administration attempts to impose neoconservative “ideals” in Iraq and Afghanistan, see Amitai Etzioni, Security First (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007). On efforts of neoconservatives to distance themselves from the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq intervention,

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  20. see David Rose, “Neo Culpa,” Vanity Fair (November 3, 2006). Given the fact that Iraq had no militarily significant weapons of mass destruction (a fact probably known to the Pentagon), intervention there can be seen as preclusive, if not predatory, thus more characteristic of vultures than superhawks. (See Chapter 3.)

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  21. Sen. John McCain, “Torture’s Terrible Toll,” Newsweek (November 21, 2005), http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10019179/site/newsweek/.

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  22. Thom Shanker and David E. Sanger, “New to Job, Gates Argued for Closing Guantánamo,” New York Times, March 23, 2007. Robert Gates is best described as a traditional American “realist”; yet he has generally been more “hawkish” than former Secretary of State James Baker. When Baker had advocated working with Mikhail Gorbachev, Gates, as deputy National Security Council adviser, had been opposed. (Gates backed the tougher line of then secretary of defense Dick Cheney.) In 1990 President George H.W. Bush Sr. sent him as an envoy to head off a potential Indian-Pakistani nuclear confrontation. In 1991 Gates was appointed head of the CIA even though he was accused of distorting intelligence on the Soviet Union to match more hard-line views and despite being accused of knowing more about the Iran-Contra scandal than he had admitted. In 1994 Gates advocated a military strike against North Korea. In 2004 he and Zbigniew Brzezinski chaired a Council on Foreign Relations study, “Iran: Time for a New Approach” (July 2004), which proposed a selective U.S. engagement with Tehran, but not a “grand bargain.”

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  23. Cal Thomas, “Donald Rumsfeld w/ Cal Thomas: Transcript,” (December 11, 2006), http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/CalThomas/2006/12/11/donald_rumfeld_w_cal_thomas_transcript.

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  24. See Marcel Van Herpen, “Six Dimensions of the Growing Transatlantic Divide,” in NATO and the European Union: New World, New Europe, New Threats, ed. Hall Gardner (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2004).

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© 2007 Hall Gardner

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Gardner, H. (2007). Triptych of Terrorism. In: Averting Global War. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230608733_2

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