|Abstract||The September 11 attacks on the U.S. dramatized the relationship between media spectacles of terror and the strategy of Islamic Jihadism that employs spectacular media events to promote its agenda. But U.S. administrations have also used spectacles of terror to promote U.S. military power and geopolitical ends, as is evident in the Gulf war of 1990-1991, the Afghanistan war of fall 2001, and the Iraq war of 2003. In this paper I argue that both Islamic Jihadists and two Bush administrations have deployed spectacles of terror to promote their political agendas; that both deploy Manichean discourses of good and evil which themselves fit into dominant media codes of popular culture; and that both deploy fundamentalist and absolutist discourses. Criticizing the role of the U.S. broadcasting media in presenting the September 11 terror spectacle and subsequent Bush Terror War, I argue against both Islamic terrorism and U.S. militarism, and call for multilateral and global responses to terrorism and rogue regimes. I also argue that the Internet is the best source of information concerning complex events like Terror War, while mainstream U.S. corporate media, especially broadcasting, have become instruments of propaganda for the Bush administration and Pentagon during spectacles of terrorism and war. Finally, I suggest limitations of the politics of the spectacle and argue that the record of the spectacles of Terror War in recent years disclose highly ambiguous, unpredictable, and negative political effects.|
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