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Academic, Writing

Crises Worthy and Otherwise: Terror Scare vs. Climate Change

cp-24.2Donald Trump began his first week in office by fulfilling his campaign pledge to declare a ban on immigration from predominantly Muslim countries he associates with terrorism—Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, though he neglected to name a single country where he has business interests. The ban has since been blocked in the courts. Unnamed was Saudi Arabia, ironic given the role of the Saudi Royal Family in spreading Wahabism, the version of Islam that has been so instrumental in fueling fundamentalism. The cognitive dissonance attached to Trump’s patently selective concern based on his business interests (no doubt also influenced by other concerns like the interest of the US in the petrodollar regime) was only part of the more gener-alized cognitive dissonance surrounding terrorist narratives that has tended to characterize the moral panic over terrorism better called the Terror Scare (aspects of which are discussed in Gershon Shafir, ed, Lessons and Legacies of the War on Terror, Routledge).

Another area where this cognitive dissonance was evident was the gag order Donald Trump signed immediately after his inauguration for federal government departments includ-ing the EPA, one mandating political review of scientific reports prior to release. The intent of this order to suppress and deny the science surrounding climate change had been made unmistakably clear by the removal of any mention of climate change from the White House website as it was changed over to reflect the policies of the incoming executive. In this case as in that of the Muslim Ban, the cognitive dissonance seemed to derive in the main from Trump’s propensity to tilt at manufactured, invented or imaging threats while actual tangible ones were permitted to continue and exacerbate without acknowledgement, much less question or chal-lenge (in 2012, Trump infamously tweeted that ‘the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive’). Some crises are worthier than others depending on their service-ability to power and in inverse proportion to their relation to messy concepts like empiricism, causality and science.


Read the rest in the current issue of Counterpunch, or at Academia.edu if you’re cheap.



One thought on “Crises Worthy and Otherwise: Terror Scare vs. Climate Change

  1. Great Write-up! Keep it up and I pray you get great blessings through this, Ben!

    Posted by Dr Ikechi Agbugba | March 31, 2017, 10:45 pm

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