THE ""TERRORISM"" INDUSTRY: The Experts and Institutions That Shape Our View of Terror by Edward S. & Gerry O'Sullivan Herman

THE ""TERRORISM"" INDUSTRY: The Experts and Institutions That Shape Our View of Terror

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Writing with O'Sullivan, a doctoral candidate at the Univ. of Penn., Herman (Finance/Wharton) continues his chastisement of American foreign policy--this time with an examination of how the American elite supposedly manipulates public opinion into being repulsed by individual acts of terror while our government supports terror in the name of countless right-wing governments. In his last outing (Manufacturing Consent, coauthored by Noam Chomsky), Herman suggested that the media serve basically as a foil for the establishment. Here, he and O'Sullivan take the next step, asserting that the media are tools used by the elite to present terrorism in a way that serves elitist domestic political interests: a ""reawakened"" America, a termination of d‚tente, and a building-up of US military, forces and the arms industry. However, the authors never question whether national media channels--networks, news magazines, major dailies--are actually in disagreement with these goals. Instead, they grind on, theorizing that the designation of terrorists is a highly political choice. Thus, the authors say, Western experts and media have focused attention on ""selective, relatively small-scale terrorists and rebels, including some genuine national liberation movements. . .and they have identified the main terrorists of the world, as victims engaging in 'counterterror.' "" The authors are unrelenting in their argument (""The service of the terrorism industry has been very much needed in the West as cover for its own activities and crimes""), accusing the US of the worst sort of Orwellian doublespeak. Unconvincing--except to true believers in American depravity.

Pub Date: Jan. 2nd, 1989
Publisher: Pantheon