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The Terrorism Trap

September 11 and Beyond

Terrorism Trap
ISBN: 0-87286-405-7
City Lights Books, 2002,
120 pp

The Terrorism Trap is a richly informed, powerfully argued, well written analysis of the deeper causes and meaning of September 11. Michael Parenti dissects the religious, political, and economic forces behind the attacks, putting them in proper historical perspective, which includes an understanding of Afghanistan’s hidden history. He answers such questions as: why did September 11 happen? who is to be blamed? who is taking advantage of the crisis? who is hurt by all the ensuing events? And why do they hate us? He sees the religious terrorism of today as related to a longstanding religious tradition of violence as well as being a reaction to a US-led globalization process that has impoverished and angered much of the world. This book helps us understand what is to be done to save democracy from terrorism and reactionism.


  1. Terrorism Meets Reactionism
    More for War
    Wag the Dog
    Reactionism on the Home Front
    Looting the Surplus
  2. The September 11 Imperative
    Ignoring US Global Militarism
    Filling the National Void
    A World Changed Forever?
    “Free Trade” Against Terrorism?
  3. Why Did It Happen?
    Killing for God and Country
    Conditional Causes
    Why Do They Hate Us?
    “Blaming America”
  4. Afghanistan, the Neglected Story
    Some Real History
    Jihad and Taliban, CIA Style
    The Holy Crusade for Oil and Gas
    Did They Know Ahead of Time?
  5. Why US Leaders Intervene Everywhere
    Supporting the Right
    Attacking the Left
    After the Counterrevolution
    When Words Speak Louder than Actions
    “Conspiracy,” “Incompetence,” and “Inertia”
    The Other Variables Argument

    Epilogue: What Is To Be Undone

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