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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The lies (or partial truths?) being taught in our classrooms about the war on terror

What's being taught?

The threat can be eliminated, the Patriot Act was uncontroversial, and Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

From the piece:

The textbook moves quickly from a description of 9/11 to a general definition of terrorism: "Terrorism is the use of violence by nongovernmental groups against civilians to achieve a political goal." On the very next page, a graphic called "Major Terrorist Attacks Affecting Americans, 1970 - 2001" labels the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut and the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole terrorist attacks, though neither fit the definition the authors just offered. 

What follows is an account of the early War on Terrorism told from the perspective of the Bush Administration, often using paraphrased or direct quotes from government officials rather than exercising judgment. "President Bush decided the time had come to end the threat of terrorism in the world," the authors say, as if discussing a plausible proposal that might well end up succeeding.

Isn't that the sort of myopia historical study is supposed to gird us against? 


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