The Power of Nightmares

So I’ve been way burnt on blogging the past few months. Just haven’t had anything interesting to say, honestly.

Tonight I watched the first part of “The Power of Nightmares,” a three-part documentary that originally aired on BBC2. The first part describes the rise of neo-conservatism from the philosophy of Leo Strauss and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism around Sayyid Qutb. The neo-conservatives knew to keep power they needed some sort of crisis. In Ford’s administration, it was the Cold War. Since the real information out of the CIA showed that the Soviet Union was rapidly falling into economic collapse, information was manufactured. Who was behind all of this? Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz.

Qutb was an Egyptian schoolteacher, who was studying over here. He saw Truman’s America as corrupt and degenerate. So when he went back, he saw the same influence creeping into Muslim society. His take on things influenced the growing Islamic Jihad. What I found interesting–in the Chinese proverb sense of the term–was that his thought said it was okay to kill the leaders of the government, because they weren’t “real” Muslims.

What does that sound like today?

Turn on EWTN. You’ll hear talking head after talking head opine about how it’s okay to deny communion to those who aren’t “real” Catholics. It’s fine to disparage them in all sorts of ways because they aren’t “real.”

And, to be fair, the other side does it too. Have you heard some of the vitriol spewed at those who prefer the extraordinary form of the Mass?


~ by Jen on July 5, 2009.

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