THE CRUSADER - Diary of a Counter-Terrorist (Action-Adventure Series)

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The terrorists and counter-terrorists are waging the perpetual war on all fronts. Terrorists are the consummate objects of fear and hatred in 21st-century America. They have far surpassed their domestic or foreign predecessors from the previous century e.

COUNTER-TERRORIST - Definition and synonyms of counter-terrorist in the English dictionary

While the concept was originally conceived of in relation to the way the news media presented members of youth subcultures first British Mods and Rockers, but later American zoot-suiters, hippies, skinheads, goths, etc. As the work of many scholars illustrate, folk devils are highly stylized images of despised and reviled groups of people. Indeed, if the Los Angeles terrorists of 24 — are any indication, the terrorist repertoire includes assassinations, car and train bombings, and chemical and radiological attacks.

While by definition screen villains must be larger than life, these terrorist characters have reached levels approaching super-villainy. Of course, this is not surprising given that their activities pose such an unprecedented threat, fully in keeping with the theme of exceptionalism.

However, the presentations vacillate wildly.


  • Synonyms and antonyms of counter-terrorist in the English dictionary of synonyms!
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While the presentation of terrorists as extraordinarily evil is quite consistent across media including the strictly nonfictional media, such as news coverage, documentaries, and some reality-based programming their competency and agency varies across and within forms. Designed to be frightening and reprehensible and always numerically significant not to mention ubiquitous , terrorists are sometimes highly competent, exceptionally intelligent, and unrelentingly devious adversaries, while at other times they teeter on the brink of being subhuman caricatures—frenetic in their movement and barely intelligible in their guttural speech.

By the s the figure of the generic Arab as terrorist was firmly established in popular culture and featured prominently in a host of action, war, spy, and mystery-thriller films such as Chain of Command , Iron Eagle , the Delta Force series — , Frantic , Navy Seals , and True Lies Whilst both are designed as objects of fear and loathing, the non-traditional terrorists are afforded far greater agency than their racialized counterparts, particularly if they are of white European descent.

This is even true, though slightly less so, of those ambiguously coded as being of Balkan or Slavic origin. For example, we can look at two main terrorist characters from the Call of Duty Modern Warfare videogame series — as an interesting comparison. Likewise, Anarchy 99, a terrorist group depicted in the film xXx and comprising former Russian soldiers and mercenaries, are politically calculating, highly organized, and prove to be quite a match for the agents of the US National Security Agency.

Stephen Muzzatti

On the rare occasions that members of white, non-eastern European ethnic groups are shown employing terroristic violence in popular culture presentations, they are typically scripted as instrumental, sometimes heroic or noble if perhaps slightly misguided —and almost never as terrorists. Unlike so many of the settings for Jihadist or Communist or ex-Communist or neo-Nazi, etc. Instead, they are frequently set in the distant past, a parallel world, or a dystopian future and take the form of big-budget historical films, period pieces, or sci-fi action adventures—not terrorist films or even films about terrorism.

There was also the The Hunger Games: Indeed, as was previously illustrated, it rarely even acknowledges it as violence. Instead, it is presented as counter-terrorism—astutely preventative or righteously retributive. In other words, there are far more representations of terrorism among popular-culture products than ever before. Blacklist , are disproportionately presented as undifferentiated Arabs. In popular culture both the dramatized but reality-based Arab terrorists and their wholly fictionalized counterparts are typically constructed as premodern, uncivilized, and highly irrational.

The presentation of them is largely absent any historical or geopolitical context. The unifying message is quite clear; these terrorists are unredeemable, barbaric savages, and their use of violence against innocent non-combatants is visceral and fueled by hatred.


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Stark but telling is the example of the White Masks terrorist organization from the video game Rainbow 6 Siege Predictably, these popular culture narratives about terrorist threats to America emerging from nowhere carry considerable currency with an audience whose worldview is so insular that it appears to them as though social, political, and economic forces do not exist.

Violence and its consequences, while certainly a part of the human condition, is undeniably distasteful and ugly.

Meaning of "counter-terrorist" in the English dictionary

Because violence, particularly large-scale violence such as that employed by the state in times of war, is so horrific that it is necessary to neutralize the revulsion that viewing it would typically elicit. While the suspension of disbelief on the part of viewers, players, and other audiences is a precondition of consuming fictionalized entertainment, consuming violence and more actively participating in it, the way one would in a video game requires more than this tacit agreement between popular culture producers and consumers.

Different genres require varying narratives to make violence not only palatable but enjoyable and something to be desired. The denial of counter-terrorism as violence occurs in a variety of interconnected ways. Chief among them is the presentation of counter-terrorist agents as forces for good. Like the hard-drinking, womanizing, violent cowboys or detectives, mercenaries, etc. His shameful actions ranging from insubordination through to human rights abuses are not recognized as such in the lifeworld and certainly never punished.

As heroes, their use of violence is not in fact violence but something else, such as justice. Normally understood to operate independent of one another, the concept of literal denial suggests that violence did not occur, while the concept of implicatory denial acknowledges that violence occurred but suggests that it was deserved. In reality, the two are mutually exclusive—violence was either employed or it was not. If it was employed, it was because the target deserved it. However, in the lifeworlds of counter-terrorism constituted by the entertainment media, these two types of denial are not only able to coexist but in fact enjoy a symbiotic relationship.

Hence, we both saw and did not see violence. Of tantamount importance to this hyper-real process is the fact that what we consume as viewers and players is a form of what Der Derian refers to as a bloodless, almost hygienic warfare. There is rarely any depiction of the consequences of employing violence for the counter-terrorist in his or her lifeworld. The terrorists who are the rightful recipients of the violence are rarely presented as suffering the true indignities that inevitably accompany serious or fatal injuries.

They are briefly part of an antiseptic spectacle of a precipitous fall, gunshot, explosion, or similar dramatized demise and then are gone. While earlier representations relied more heavily on implied interpersonal violence, more contemporary ones utilize special and visual effects, neither come close to capturing even a fraction of the true suffering, horror, and degradation of violence, to say nothing of that which is left in its wake. In the first instance, because terrorism is so pervasive and deadly the only logical response is the unfettered use of repressive state apparatuses.

It also includes the US regular military and its allies, as well as specialized units. In these popular culture products, military personnel and federal agents are often presented working alongside local law enforcement ranging from patrol-level officers through SWAT personnel and detectives domestically, as well as resistance fighters, mercenaries, US-friendly rebels and other freedom-loving heroes internationally, to neutralize terrorist threats.

True, some changes have indeed occurred: But beneath the surface, much remains the same. For example, there is no question that warfare, rather than political diplomacy, and changes to foreign and economic policy are the most effective means of addressing terrorism Schulzke, a ; Wild, Specifically, no weapon is too powerful or costly, no likelihood of civilian deaths too great, no interrogation technique unwarranted, and no constant, low-grade warfare too prolonged.

Normalizing a constant and ongoing state of emergency promotes the normalcy of techniques that under other circumstances might be considered unconscionable. In short, the entertainment media has presented a picture in which war strategies not only constitute gross civil and human rights violations but are often actually war crimes. Examples include the surveillance of ordinary Americans, the extraordinary rendition, indefinite detention and torture of foreign nationals, and the extrajudicial killing of suspected terrorists, both on US soil and in other countries.

Terrorism and counter-terrorism have come to dominate US political discourse and popular culture since September 11, , and will no doubt continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Understandably, both also fetishize the comprehensive application of state violence in the form of a militarized counter-terrorism strategy as the most prudent—indeed, really the only effective—response. At the same time, this presentation necessitates, at the very least, its continuation and possible future escalation. Indeed, given the ongoing nature of those endeavors, it would be impossible to accomplish such a thing.

Instead, it can hopefully serve as a valuable heuristic: Essays on representations in comics, literature, film and theatre. An invitation 2d ed. Critical Studies on Terrorism , 4 1 , 57— Consent and consumption of spectacle power and violence. Critical Sociology , 41 1 , 1— How Hollywood vilifies a people. War, media and popular culture. University Press of Kansas. Welcome to the desert of the real. University of Chicago Press. World falls for American media, even as it sours on America.

Hollywood and the spectacle of terrorism. New Political Science , 28 3 , — Economic report on the Canadian film and television production industry. Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association. Folk devils and moral panics: The creation of the Mods and Rockers. Competition, conflict and the problem of domination. Mapping the military-industrial-media-entertainment network 2d ed. Hollywood, the United States and the construction of danger. Critical Studies on Terrorism , 1 2 , — Exchanging terrorism oxygen for media airwaves: The age of terroredia. Critical Studies on Terrorism , 1 3 , — War, aggression and state crime: A criminological analysis of the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

British Journal of Criminology , 45 4 , — Desperate times and desperate measures: Critical Studies on Terrorism , 7 3 , — Graphic novels and the re presentation of terrorism. Critical Studies on Terrorism , 5 3 , — The history, strategy, and doomsday vision of the Islamic State. Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. The economic contribution of the motion picture and television Industry to the United States. Theatrical market statistics Consumer culture, criminology and the politics of exclusion.

Thought, policy and practice 2d ed.


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Crosshairs on our backs: The culture of fear and the production of the D. Contemporary Justice Review , 10 1 , 43— Torture, denial, and exception in the case of Journal of Media and Cultural Studies , 25 2 , — Cultural criminology and the carnival of crime. Terrorism, moral panic and US civil society.

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