From 9/11 to the continuing invasion and occupation of Iraq to the saber rattling of a possible war against Iran, Americans have been inundated by the so-called “war on terror;” and at least as some see it, the war against Fundamentalist Islam. On the Right, we hear of “Islamo-fascism” and are warned that if we don’t stifle the great evil of Islamic terrorism, we are heading for another world war. In liberal circles, while the rhetoric is different, we are still told that the U.S. will hunt down terrorists wherever they may be, and that militaristic – even nuclear – measures against the Middle East are very much “on the table.”
In contrast, the Left has recognized that the ‘war on terror’ is really a pseudo-war against that which the U.S. itself helped create, and that our actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, and perhaps soon in Iran – which are making the world less safe regarding terrorist actions – are about controlling the precious, if deadly, energy resource of oil, and thus controlling the market so as to benefit the rich power elite.
This two-part conversation, facilitated by Prof. of Philosopher at Bergen Community College Paul Eckstein, will be an analysis of the real reasons for the “war on terror.” We will get a peak into what is happening on the ground in the Middle East, what Arabs and the broader Muslim world really think about us, and just how we ought to understand the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.
To help us understand the deepening crisis and what we might do about it, will be Gilbert Achcar, professor of politics and international relations at the University of Paris, and author of Clash of Barbarisms September 11 and the making of the new world disorder; Deepa Kumar, Prof of Media Studies at Rutgers University in NJ, and author of several pieces on Islamophobia; Journalist Larry Pintak in Egypt, whose latest book is Reflections in a Bloodshot Lens America, Islam, and the War of Ideas; and Fawzia Afzal Khan, Professor of English at Montclair State University in NJ, and author of Shattering the Stereotypes, Muslim Women Speak Out.