"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Thursday, September 16, 2004



Some days, Front Page Magazine is just loaded with extremely useful and interesting articles. This is one such day, and that is why I have linked to the entire magazine. (If you click this link after today, 16 September 2004, you will need to go to the magazine archives to see and obtain today's articles.)

One article I want to single out. It is a book review of Voices of Terror: Manifestos, Writings and Manuals of al-Qaeda, Hamas, and other Terrorists from around the World and throughout the Ages, edited by Walter Laqueur, New York: Reed Press, 2004. 520 pp. $19.95. The reviewer"Dr. J. Peter Pham is at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia. He is the author, most recently, of Liberia: Portrait of a Failed State (Reed Press, 2004)." His review in Front Page Magazine is entitled, "Taking Terrorists at Their Word."

Dr. Pham closes his review with "But if it is the fate of the West to be tested in the forge of this unrelenting and asymmetrical warfare, then in confronting their foes, free societies would do well to be armed with a knowledge and understanding of the forces—no matter how seemingly irrational or alien—that motivate the terrorists."

There are far too many Americans who do not take terrorists at their word, even though they spell out in elaborate detail exactly what they plan to do to us. Jihadists these days know and exploit our sundry weaknesses, all of which are correctable. Says Dr. Pham, Dr. Lacquer's anthology presents "their insight into the weakness of will in the West." Our ignorance coupled with our lack of taking these jihadists at their work coupled with the weaknesses produced by erroneous and pseudo-moralities keeps us turning our soft bellies to the terrorists so they can plunge in their swords.

I have not read this book, but I will. There is no such thing as knowing one's enemies too well. From this review, I think any American who is interested in the survival of America and his and her loved ones should read it as well.


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