REVIEW: A symbol of all that is wrong with the ‘war on terror’

Review of Prisoner 345 and Lost Stories Retold

Keywords: asylum seekers, human rights journalism, journalism, refugees, rendition, reviews, social justice, torture, war on terror


Prisoner 345: My 2330 days in Guantánamo, by Sami Alhaj. Doha, Qatar: Al Jazeera Media Network, 2019. 126 pages. No ISBN.
The Refugee’s Messenger: Lost Stories Retold, edited by Tarek Cherkaoui. Istanbul, Turkey: TRT World Research Centre, 2019. 192 Pages. ISBN 978-605-9984-28-7

A RECENT article in the Middle East Eye pilloried the United States lack of preparedness for the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic. Lamenting that if only the world’s richest democracy could have instead of frittering away trillions of dollars on ‘endless wars’  invested in the country’s health infrastructure, the world would be in a better place today. Washington had ‘built an entire infrastructure to counter terrorism and criminalise Muslim communities’, spending almost $6.4 trillion on pointless wars that had killed off half a million people since September 11 2011 (Hilal & Raja, 2020). Yet, which was the biggest threat – the elusive target of the so-called ‘war on terror’, or the pandemic, which killed more than 20,000 Americans and infected a further 500,000 (with numbers still rising when this edition of PJR went to press)?


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Author Biography

David Robie, Pacific Media Centre - AUT

Editor of Pacific Journalism Review and Professor of Communication Studies and Journalism

School of Communication Studies

Auckland University of Technology


Bureau of Investigative Journalism, The (n.d.). Human rights: Drone warfare. Retrieved from

Hilal, M., & Raja, D. (2020, April 6). US wages endless war on terror, but fails in war on coronavirus. Middle East Eye. Retrieved from

Kingsley, P. (2015, February 1). Peter Greste released after serving 13 months in Egyptian jail – while others wait and hope. The Guardian. Retrieved from
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How to Cite
Robie, D. (2020). REVIEW: A symbol of all that is wrong with the ‘war on terror’: Review of Prisoner 345 and Lost Stories Retold. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 26(1), 317-320.

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