Press Release

Weapon of the Strong
Conversations on US State Terrorism

Interviews by Cihan Aksan & Jon Bailes
Pluto Press

Weapon of the Strong Cover

Publication Date: November 20, 2012 (UK), November 27, 2012 (US)

ISBN: 9780745332413 ISBN 10: 0745332412

Available from:,, (UK);,, (US); (AUS)

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Extracts: The Discourse of Terror: An Interview with Judith Butler
International Law and Human Rights: An Interview with Richard A. Falk


Terrorism is often thought of as a ‘weapon of the weak’ that is employed exclusively by non-state groups or specific ‘rogue states’. Far less attention is given to state terrorism carried out or sponsored by powerful democracies, most notably the United States. History shows that this state terrorism has been responsible for the deaths of millions of people.

Weapon of the Strong analyses the forms of US state terrorism through exclusive, never before published interviews with leading commentators and theorists. The interviews explore the different aspects of state terrorism: its functions, institutional supports and the legal and moral arguments surrounding it, and consider specific case studies in Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

Weapon of the Strong makes an indispensable contribution to contemporary debates on terrorism and constructs a damning critique of US foreign policy from World War Two to the present day.


1 Introduction

2 Noam Chomsky: The Definition of Terrorism

3 Richard A. Falk: International Law and Human Rights

4 Marjorie Cohn: Torture as Terrorism

5 Ted Honderich: Morality, Justification, and Responsibility

6 Edward S. Herman: The Media Image of Terrorism

7 Judith Butler: The Discourse of Terror

8 Richard Jackson: Terrorism Studies and Academia

9 Patrick Bond: International Financial Institutions and the Economics of Terrorism

10 Ismael Hossein-zadeh: The Guiding Force of US Militarism

11 Gilbert Achcar: The United States in the Middle East

12 Norman G. Finkelstein: US Support for Israeli State Terror

13 Greg Grandin: The United States in Latin America

14 Daniele Ganser: NATO’s Secret Armies in Europe


Terror exercised by states is infinitely more deadly than terrorism by non-state actors. This outstanding book is welcome precisely because it starts by challenging the hegemonic views of both terrorism and democratic power. Nuanced and uncompromising, the interviewers have posed some of the most penetrating and important questions of our time. The answers received will change forever the way we think about terror. (Professor Penny Green, King’s College London, Director of the International State Crime Initiative (ISCI) and co-author of State Crime: Governments, Violence and Corruption (Pluto 2004))

A wide range of compelling topics are expertly explored by leading academics. Each is skilfully interviewed by Cihan Aksan and Jon Bailes who also provide an excellent introduction. A job well done. (Michael Parenti)

The Authors:

Cihan Aksan & Jon Bailes are the founding editors of the online political journal State of Nature (