A searing critique of the myths behind America's "War on Terror" that shows it to be baseless, ineffective, and harmful.
In a savage critique, R.T. Naylor investigates the American government's understanding of and response to 9/11, exposing the official story - and the resulting global War on Islamic Terror - as based on myth and misinformation. Satanic Purses examines how misguided notions about the structure and financing of terrorist groups have diverted attention from more useful measures, and perpetuated the "War on Terror."
Naylor argues that bin Laden's role in various terrorist activities has been grossly exaggerated and that the idea of al-Qa'idah as a well-financed, centrally directed movement is a fable akin to misconceptions about the Mafia. Satanic Purses makes clear that the myths surrounding the war on terror, especially the alleged existence of hordes of Islamic terror dollars, have led Western countries, particularly the US, to policies that create death and disorder abroad and the loss of due process and privacy at home.
Naylor shows that the secret agendas behind, and the private interests that profit from, an illusory War on Terror may be far more dangerous than the events that led to it. With eloquence and precision, Naylor explains how and why a story so contrary to easily verifiable reality was concocted and accepted.
432 Pages, 6 x 9
Formats: Paperback, Cloth, eBook
"Satanic Purses provides a fascinating perspective on the war on terror." Maclean's
"Transcending conventional misunderstandings, Naylor shows how some of our policies are built on a thin patch of ice. Irreverent and satirical in tone, his book is a counter-balance to too much that is taken for granted - even by many who should know better." Nikos Passas, College of Criminal Justice, Northeastern University
"A counterblast to the conventional wisdom and mythologized history of Al-Qaeda that dismantles taken-for-granted assumptions." Michael Levi, criminology, Cardiff University
Historian, criminologist, and political economist, R.T. Naylor is professor of economics at McGill University where his main fields of research are black markets, smuggling, and international financial crime. He is the author of many books including Hot Money and the Politics of Debt and Wages of Crime: Black Markets, Illegal Finance, and the Underworlds Economy.
Table of Contents
1 The Crucible - Afghanistan, the Anti-Soviet War, and the Roots of the Al-Qa’idah Myth 12
2 Vengeful Green Giant? - Bin Laden, “Fundamentalism,” and the Rise of the Islamintern 29
3 Conspiracies of Evil - Crime, Law, and the Politics of Fear 46
4 Usama of Khartoum - “Anti-Christian Jihad,” Nerve-Gas Plots, and the Transnational of Terror 59
5 Pipe Dreams and Political Hallucinations - Usama, the USA, and the Taliban 75
6 Trials & Tribulations - Prosecutors in Paradise and Usama in Wonderland 88
7 Rocket’s Red Glare - Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of “Victory” 107
8 To the Shores of Muqdisho - Usama in the Land of Qat, Clan, and Cattle 120
9 Terror Dollars and Nonsense - Finding, Freezing, and Seizing the Horde’s Hoards 137
10 Quartermasters of Terror - Inscrutable Orientals and Underground Banks 152
11 Monetary Mujahideen? - Mall versus Mosque in the War on Terror 167
12 Original Sin - Palestine and the Rise of Modern Political Terrorism 186
13 Pray or Prey? - Fifth Columns, Cooked Books, and Charitable Frauds in America 206
14 Neither to Give nor to Receive - Requiem for Islamic Charity in the us? 227
15 Chasing Green Herrings - The Netherworld of Terror Meets the Underworld of Crime? 239
16 Conflicts of Interest? - On Bloody Diamonds and Tarnished Gold 262
17 Striking Out! - Al-Qa’idah Cells in the Global Petrie Dish 277
18 Securing the Home Front - America’s Hunt for the Enemy Within 314
A "Book of the Year" Title
Quill & Quire Magazine (2006)