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Featured Documentary

BBC | The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear | The Phantom Victory | Season 1 Episode 2 (2004) 60 min.

Synopsis

In the second episode, Islamist factions, rapidly falling under the more radical influence of Zawahiri and his rich Saudi acolyte Osama bin Laden, join the Neo-Conservative-influenced Reagan Administration to combat the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan. They are successful in repulsing the Soviet armies and, when the Eastern Bloc begins to collapse in the late 1980s, both groups believe they were the primary architect of the "Evil Empire's" defeat and thus have the power to carry out their revolutions in their homelands. Curtis instead argues that the Soviets were on their last legs and were doomed to collapse without intervention.

Both factions' revolutions end in failure. The Neo-Conservatives' aspirations to use the United States Army's power for further destruction of evil are thrown off track by the ascent of George H. W. Bush to the American Presidency, followed by the 1992 election of Bill Clinton leaving them out of power. The Neo-Conservatives, with their conservative Christian allies, attempt to demonise Clinton throughout his presidency with various real and fabricated stories of corruption and immorality. To their disappointment, however, the American people do not acknowledge him as an enemy as they intended and remain indifferent to Clinton's alleged evils. The Islamist attempts at revolution end in massive bloodshed, leaving the Islamists without popular support. Zawahiri and bin Laden flee to the sufficiently safe Afghanistan and declare a new strategy; to fight Western-inspired moral decay they must deal a blow to its source: the United States.

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