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Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Power of Nightmares, Part 1 of 3, "Baby it’s cold outside”

This is the beginning of a weekly series of documentaries designed to offer insights into today’s events, making it easy to understand them by linking them to the larger historical context. These documentaries are mostly done by the BBC, and rely on accurate historical records and the highest standards of scholarship and journalism. The ideas in these documentaries are not designed to advance one version of the events or act as propaganda for one party or the other, they are designed to provide the reader with enough facts to help them better understand the larger historical context to which today’s events belong.

The first of these documentaries is entitled “The Power of Nightmares”.

In This fascinating and award winning documentary, Adam Curtis, Writer, Producer and Narrator explores the origins of two movements, Islamic fundamentalism and the Neo-conservative movement, whose views and ideas, he argues, contributed the most to bringing our world to where it is today.

Broadcast by BBC 2 in the fall of 2004, this series of three one hour documentaries questions whether the threat of terrorism to the West is a politically driven fantasy and if al-Qaeda really is an organized network. At the heart of the story are two groups: the American neo-conservatives, 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 for 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, organized 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.

The Power of Nightmares was turned into a feature film and was shown out of competition at the prestigious Cannes' film festival which began on 11 May, 2005.

For more information about this documentary and its author, visit its web page on the BBC’s web site or its web page on the Cannes' film festival’s web site

Parte I, “Baby it’s cold outside”:
The rise of the politics of fear begins in 1949 with two men whose radical ideas would inspire the attack of 9/11 and influence the neo-conservative movement that dominates Washington. Both these men believed that modern liberal freedoms were eroding the bonds that held society together. The two movements they inspired set out, in their different ways, to rescue their societies from this decay. But in an age of growing disillusion with politics, the neo-conservatives turned to fear in order to pursue their vision. They would create a hidden network of evil run by the Soviet Union that only they could see. The Islamists were faced by the refusal of the masses to follow their dream and began to turn to terror to force the people to "see the truth"'.

1 comment:

  1. By the way, this was offered to many TV providers in the US and they all refused to broadcast it. Makes you wonder, since the facts here are not inflamatory by nature -- on the contrary, they are thoughht provoking and well worthy of public debate!