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Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Power of Nightmares, Part 3 of 3, “The Shadows In The Cave”:

This is the third in 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

Part 3 of 3, “The Shadows In The Cave”:

There are dangerous and fanatical individuals and groups around the world who have been inspired by extreme Islamist ideas, and who will use the techniques
of mass terror - the attacks on America and Madrid make this only too clear.

But the nightmare vision of a uniquely powerful hidden organisation waiting to strike our societies is an illusion.

Wherever one looks for this al-Qaeda organisation, from the mountains of Afghanistan to the "sleeper cells" in America, the British and Americans are chasing
a phantom enemy.

But the reason that no-one questions the illusion is because this nightmare enemy gives so many groups new power and influence in a cynical age - and not
just politicians.

Those with the darkest imaginations have now become the most powerful.

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