Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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Trapped in the War on Terrorism: Conversation Ian Lustick, Bess W. Heyman Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania, May 1, 2006, by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome to a Conversation with History. I'm Harry Kreisler of the Institute of International Studies. Our guest today is Ian Lustick who is the Bess M. Heyman Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. book coverHis new book is entitled Trapped in the War On Terror. Ian has been a consultant to every administration since President Carter either at the mid level of the bureaucracy or even as high as the Office of the President.

  1. Entering the Debate on Terrorism ... experience in government ... post-9/11 conference for law enforcement, defense, intelligence agencies ... ill-advised policies suggest ulterior motives ... unintended effects
  2. The Phantom War ... trillions of dollars spent ... pre-9/11 hawks for Iraq war ... post-9/11 turning of the tide ... the juggernaut of the War on Terror ... framing the questions determines the answers ... hijacking the Madisonian system of government ... "red-teaming" exercises produce hopeless scenarios ... the real accomplishment of al Qaeda
  3. False Leads ... loss of civil rights ... diversion of resources ... arrests and detainment of Middle Easterners ... no trace of any sleeper cells in the US ... irony of port-ownership flap
  4. U.S. Power and Neo-Imperialism ... triggering event ... post-Cold War power ... manipulating the American public ... historical precedent in communist fear ... parallels to the War on Terror
  5. Escaping the "War on Terror" Trap ... know your enemy ... cool the rhetoric ... Iran ... hope in changed leadership ... the emporer's clothes ... fear of speaking the truth ... the nuclear question ... finding the tipping point toward sane policy

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