This is a book which aims to overturn existing understandings of the origins and futures of the War on Terror for the purposes of International Relations theory. As the book shows, this is not a war in defence of the integrity of human life against an enemy defined simply by a contradictory will for the destruction of human life as commonly supposed by its liberal advocates. It is a war over the political constitution of life in which the limitations of liberal accounts of humanity are being put to the test if not rejected outright.
'Terror' is a diffuse notion that takes no account of local particularities and 'war on terror' is a contradiction in terms. This book is based on the lectures that were given on the subject in Oxford in 2006. Amnesty has described 'war on terror' as a war on human rights. It is also a contest of narratives: stories that the protagonists tell about themselves, about their enemies, and about what is happening now. The book considers how the recent actions of the United States have stressed and stretched two areas of international law: the right of self-defence, and the rules of international humanitarian law. State terrorism, with a bit of careful spin, can be reclassified as counter-terrorism, in other words as inherently good in the same way that terrorism is inherently bad. The book engages with the politico-conceptual difficulties of distinguishing between war and terrorism. The interface and tensions between the human rights tradition and the Islamic tradition, particularly Islamic law, is discussed. The intensification of Western repression against Islamic thinkers or activists has at times been coupled with policies that seemed designed to change the religious trajectory of society. The sexualization of torture is only one way in which the 'war on terror' has delineated who is (and who is not) human. Religion, human rights, and trauma narratives are three other mechanisms for rationalizing suffering. The book also discusses the subject of censuring reckless killing of innocent civilians by the issue of fatwas by Muslim teachers.
to those with a just cause and that it should always be punishable under the law. But doubts can arise about this. At least in certain cases, it can be and has been debated whether terrorists have, or ought to have, combatant status. Terrorists themselves often claim to be combatants, particularly when they are captured, since they would like to be accorded prisoner of war status. And, perhaps surprisingly, the Bush administration also claims that terrorists are enemy combatants in its ‘waronterror’. Are terrorists combatants?
The concepts ‘terrorist
actually occurred. He cites Burckhardt on the narratives of Ancient Greece: ‘those events passed down to us in the form of narration … are in many ways uncertain, controversial, coloured, or else … fictions entirely dictated by imagination or bias’. 2 The function of these narratives is to give a meaningful structure to the world in which we live, act and feel. ‘It is precisely the fabrications, constructions and projections – the fashioning of meaning – that are my concern’. 3
Amnesty has rightly described this ‘waronterror’ as a war on human rights. It is
for a government is then to negotiate with an entity whose methods are abhorrent. But this is what the U.K. government (at first secretly) did. The results are clear today.
To point this out is to point out that a ‘waronterror’ could never be successful. ‘Terror’ is a diffuse notion that takes no account of local particularities and ‘waronterror’ is a contradiction in terms. 15 If the object was to reduce the incidence of either state or non-state terrorism in the world, it has failed. If the object was to combat the Jihadist terror associated with the
individual; rendering that being ‘non-human’ through infliction of pain and through systematic exposure of the body. And what we have seen and are seeing in the ‘waronterror’ is a politics in which humanity is defined through the actions of the inhuman (torturer) on the non-human (victims). As another Abu Ghraib prisoner put it:
They stripped us naked as a newborn baby. Then they ordered us to hold our penises and stroke it … They started to take photographs as if it was a porn movie. And they treated us like animals not humans … No one showed us mercy. Nothing
The countries of the developed West are fighting a waronterror. More accurately: the governments of some of these countries are conducting a war against terrorists. This war effort was stepped up dramatically after the terrorist attack of 11 September 2001, which killed about 3,000 people in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania. The most notable attack until then was the car bomb attack on the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi of 7 August 1998, which killed 257 people including 12 U.S. citizens. Since the 11 September attack, 202 people
country does; rather it is said to be part of a pattern of systematic international violence against which a ‘global waronterror’ now needs to be waged. This idea of a worldwide contagion of terror inspired by evil forces with designs on Western civilization – so commonly spoken of today as something new and unprecedented and uniquely terrifying – in fact originates well before 11 September 2001. Exploring its origins takes us back to the very beginnings of the modern distortion of our subject, the late 1960s.
We need now to turn to Israel and Palestine, the
Post-9/11 Horror and the Gothic Clash of Civilisations
Kevin J. Wetmore
Twentieth century cinema involving monster conflict featured solitary monsters in combat (Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, for example). The writing of Anne Rice and the RPG Vampire: The Masquerade by White Wolf Games introduced the idea of Gothic communities and civilisations in conflict. It was not until after the terror attacks of 11 September that the idea of a clash of civilisations between supernatural societies fully emerged into the mainstream of popular culture. This essay explores the construction of a clash of civilisations between supernatural communities as a form of using the Gothic as a metaphor for contemporary terrorism in film and television series such as Underworld, Twilight, True Blood and The Vampire Diaries. Inevitably, it is the lycanthropes that are the disempowered and disenfranchised society and are alternately exploited by and rebel against the dominant vampire civilisation grown decadent and on the verge of collapse. Post-9/11 Gothic posits a world in which vampire society is the new normal, and werewolves represent a hidden danger within. Lycanthropes must be controlled, profiled and/or fought and defeated. Through close readings of the cinematic and televisual texts, I explore the vampire/werewolf clash as metaphor and metonym for the war on terror.
War, sovereignty, and resistance to the biopolitical imperium
being redefined by little short of a transformation
in the character of power relations internationally, one which challenged traditional accounts of power across the spectrum of different theoretical approaches
to the subject.
The World Trade Center attack of 11 September 2001 has been argued to
challenge both liberal and Foucauldian accounts alike. With the declaration of
the WaronTerror by the United States, and the subsequent invasions of
Afghanistan and Iraq, the global order is now widely argued to be fragmenting
into a mode of organisation more anachronistic