Since the attacks on September 11, 2001 the world has descended into a global conflict that has cost an untold number of lives, trillions of dollars, and induced the largest refugee crisis since the Second World War.
Matt Kenny’s non-fiction poem, “Coercive Beliefs” traces a web of ideologies and conflicts that have shaped this global war beginning with the unlikely pairing of Omar Abdel-Rahman – “The Blind Sheikh,” sentenced to life in prison for his role in a series of plots in New York City including the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and his idealistic lawyer, Lynne Stewart, highly regarded for her fierce defense of unpopular defendants. Drawing from a wide range of news coverage and current affairs literature, Kenny offers a counterintuitive path through a sequence of events, from the collapse of the Arab Spring back to the 1973 Oil Crisis. Situated at the center of this cascade of unintended consequences born out of ill-conceived policies is the birth of Al-Qaeda. “Coercive Beliefs” renders the origins and results of America’s wars in the Middle East in a new, broad and illuminating context.
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