In 2003, Slavoj Žižek made a very prescient observation to explain how the US under George Bush used a plot twist borrowed from Alfred Hitchcock to justify the invasion of Iraq. He called it the “Iraqi MacGuffin.” Now, what is a MacGuffin? Exactly. The example Žižek gives: Two men run into each other on a train. One carries a suitcase. When asked what the suitcase contains, the carrier replies, “It is a MacGuffin.” But what is a MacGuffin? “It is a device used for killing leopards in the Scottish Highlands.” But there are no leopards in the Scottish Highlands. “Well, then that’s not a MacGuffin, is it?” Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction were never found, and somehow the fact that they did not actually exist was secondary to their enormous value as a narrative device for producing a precondition for going to war in Iraq…

Editorial—“Pieces of the Planet” Issue Two
Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, Anton Vidokle

World History and Earth Art
Sven Lütticken

Too Much World: Is the Internet Dead?
Hito Steyerl

Dear Navigator, Part II
Hu Fang

Freezone: Dubai
Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, Manal Al Dowayan, Parag Khanna, Turi Munthe

Walkthrough, Part II
Walid Raad

On the Format of the Divine
Gleb Napreenko

The Insurgents, Part II: Fighting the Left by Being the Left
Nato Thompson

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site. Read our privacy policy to learn more. Accept

Join Our Mailing List