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1 6 Historically Speaking April 2003 is not only müitary and/or clandestine; it is above all political and ideological. While die jihadists diemselves are clearly religious fanatics, their indispensable sponsors are not. They are all tyrants, and their political legitimacyis direatened bythe existence ofdie free, tolerant, multicultural societies ofthe West, above all, die United States. Note diat we automatically direaten them; it is not a question ofdiis policy or diat. They would hate us even ifIsrael did not exist, just as dieir people sometimes love us despite a recent history ofantagonism. Iran, for example , probably has the most pro-American population in die world today, and its regime (routinely Usted by die State Department as die world's leadingsponsorofterrorism) daily attacks us as the Great Satan. The regime knows thatdie Iranian people hate their government and love the United States, butjails and tortures anyone who calls forbetterrelations between the two countries. Defeating the terror masters and replacing them with more civil, democratic, and tolerant governments would greadyweaken the appeal ofjihadism. Since bin Laden and die odiers claim divine support for their holy war, their defeat would discredit the entire doctrine. To be sure, even defeated messianic movements linger on, radierlike dioseJapanese soldiers on remote islands who continued to fightmanyyears afterMacArthurhad conquered dieir homeland. But more often than not they are anachronistic curiosities and not ongoing serious threats. MichaelA. Ledeen, residentscholar in the Freedom Chairat theAmerican Enterprise Institute, is the authorof, most recently, The WarAgainst the TerrorMasters (Si. Martins Press, 2002). Progress, Holes, Ruses,and Countercultures: September 1 1 as a Transforming Event* Miriam R. Levin For a briefmoment, the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon made all Americans—indeed the entire world—aware of technology by casting a most horrific light on the web of structures and socio-technical systems in which we are embedded. And dien, somehow, diis fragile web drifted back below die public 's consciousness as die media and politicians turned to human suffering , human heroes, and human failures . Butwhatwe see, hear, and read in the media does not mean that technology is far from people's minds diese days or that public attitudes toward it have remained the same. Historian John Lukacs recently observed diat a profound new division has begun to form "between people who are still undiinkingbelievers in technologyand in economic determinism and people who are not."1 In March 2002 the National Science Foundation funded a workshop at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology entitled "RediinkingTechnology in die Aftermath of September 11." Several issues and questions aboutdie impact ofSeptember 1 1 on the history oftechnology were raised at diis workshop . Here I offer my own thoughts. • · · The last decade has been full of "endings "—ifnot of feelings of decline—in die West. Books proclaimed die end ofideology needs on the rest of the world. The notion that life on earth will get progressively better has now been replaced by a desire to conserve what we have. The hole in the ground where die World Trade Center once stood, die hole where the and die end ofhistory. There was the end of plane hit the Pentagon, and die hole in die die millennium as marked by die Gregorian Pennsylvania fieldpointtootheremptyspaces. The events of September 1 1 made cleardie holes in die public's knowledge ofwhat is taking place in die rest of the world, especially the Islamic world and die Middle East in particular. There are holes in our psyches (once comfortably unconscious of die artificial environment in which we lived out die fantasy of progress) that die phantom ofterrorism fills with anxiety. And diere are holes in ourunderstandingofdie cultures diathave been evolvingin odierparts ofthe world, where growingnumbers oftechnicallytrained men and religious leadershave been developing a variety of responses to Western and American influences that make use ofbodi what diey have learned from the West and die help diatWestern corporations and agencies are providing diem. The socio-technologicalsystems built by the West . . .do not ensure Western dominance. Progress may infact have cededto survivalas a worldhistoricalforce. calendar, as well as the end of the World Trade Center and Americans' sense ofphysical and economic security. There was also the truncation ofa...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-6438
Print ISSN
1941-4188
Pages
pp. 16-17
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Ceased Publication
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