Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Maybe not quite The Best American Nonrequired Reading, but close to it.

I am reading some books off the recommended reading list for the graduate program I will be starting in the fall. I finished The Looming Tower last week. Lawrence Wright wrote it and I had started to read it in the fall and was distracted by several things, maybe applying to grad school and taking the GRE, but I finally finished it. It’s a great work of research and an accounting of the United States’ earlier attempts at killing Osama bin Laden. It details bin Laden’s earlier life and his progression from extensive farmer to infamous terrorist.

There are countless passages I would like to share and discuss on here, but I thought one in particular was telling of what knowledge so many of those who wish to attack America lack. It’s astounding how ignorance is such a strong characteristic of both sides of this battle. To give you some context, this was immediately after 9/11 and a 9/11 conspirator (Abu Jandal) was being confronted by an agent (Soufan):

“Abu Jandal was confounded by Soufan and what he represented: a Muslim who could argue religion with him, who was in the FBI, who loved America. He quickly consumed the history that Soufan game him and was shocked to learn of the American Revolution and the passionate struggle against tyranny that was woven into the American heritage. His worldview depended on the assumption that the United States was the wellspring of evil in the world.” – Wright, Lawrence. The Looming Tower : Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006, p. 365.

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