al-Qaeda

Did We Lose in Iraq? No, and Here’s Why.
October 28, 2011

President Barack Obama has announced that nearly all American soldiers will be home from Iraq by the end of the year. Despite the fact that Iran, as the Middle East’s most serious would-be hegemon, will benefit more than any other country from our regional drawdown, the American and Iraqi governments wish to go their own separate ways. The president has a campaign promise to keep. Most Americans are tired of sending their money, their sons, and even their daughters to Iraq, and most who haven’t spend money or blood are tired of hearing about it.

How Qaddafi’s Death Has Only Made Libya’s Future More Difficult
October 22, 2011

The death of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and the fall of his last two loyal towns mark the end of the revolution that has rocked the country for eight months.

Why Negotiations With the Taliban Aren’t Hopeless
October 10, 2011

Are Afghan negotiations hopeless? In the wake of last month’s assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani, the head of the country’s High Peace Council, the mood in both Afghanistan and the United States is pessimistic, to say the least. But negotiations are still possible, and understanding why that’s the case, as well as the difficulties of succeeding, requires understanding the history of similar negotiations, quieting Afghan suspicions, and abandoning myths that cloud public discussion. Saying negotiations are possible is a long way from saying that they will necessarily succeed.

Is the Internet Turning Books into Perpetual Works-in-Progress?
September 22, 2011

Richard North Patterson remembers the moment he learned that Osama bin Laden was dead. He was watching television on a Sunday evening two days before the publication of his latest novel, The Devil’s Light, in which Al Qaeda plans a nuclear attack on America for the decade anniversary of 9/11. Wolf Blitzer, grave-faced, said something about a major national security announcement. And immediately, Patterson knew. “I sat there like a man in a catatonic state,” he recalled.

After Ten Years
September 15, 2011

After September 11, a rough consensus developed in America about what had happened to us. The day itself was horrific: A great national melancholy filled the voids in lower Manhattan. Before there were geopolitical implications and debates about how to respond, there was grief and the simple fact of human death on a massive scale: people jumping from the Twin Towers and then the buildings falling, crushing thousands of people inside. The suffering was not a matter of ideology. It was sickening in the most basic human terms. In its wake, Americans were heartbroken and angry and terrified.

A New Piece of Evidence About 9/11—Ignored Evidence
September 10, 2011

Just in time for the tenth commemoration of the carnage at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania comes a detailed report from The Miami Herald about a wealthy Saudi family deserting its lush abode in Saratoga, Florida just two weeks before the mass killings. Hey, maybe it’s just a coincidence.

Why Is the Press Spending So Much Time Obsessing About Libya?
September 08, 2011

The U.S. economy being what it is, it should come as no surprise that most Americans, including the minority with a keen interest in foreign policy, have been focused on domestic issues. What is less understandable is why that internationally-minded remnant should have been so concerned with events in Libya to the virtual exclusion of any other part of the world. This has been particularly true of mainstream liberals, and the media outlets that reflect their views, above all the New York Times, CBS, ABC, and NBC.

Why Is the Middle East Still in Thrall to 9/11 Conspiracy Theories?
September 03, 2011

The 9/11 attacks catalyzed a tremendous shift in American foreign policy in the Middle East. Rather than prioritizing petrol, Washington targeted terrorist organizations, dethroned a dictator, and lobbied throughout the region for liberalization. Yet despite the billions of dollars spent policing Baghdad and protecting Benghazi, the unpopularity of the United States in the Arab world continues to be fueled by the belief that Islamist terrorists had nothing to do with 9/11, with many claiming the attacks were an American, Israeli, or joint American-Israeli conspiracy.

What the U.N. Can Do to Stop Getting Attacked by Terrorists
September 02, 2011

For years, the United Nations has taken pains to present itself to the world as an impartial, international institution dedicated to helping people around the world. But when the Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram detonated a car bomb at the UN’s compound in Abuja, Nigeria, last Friday, killing 23 and wounding at least 75, it was a stark reminder that, no matter how hard the UN tries to be neutral, many, especially in the Muslim world, see it as a proxy of Western powers. Indeed, for many groups bent on wrecking havoc, the UN has become synonymous with the United States.

The Best Responses to 9/11—and the Worst
August 24, 2011

I was in bed at a New York hotel when my stock trader called to say that one of the Twin Towers had been hit by an airplane. “A horrible accident,” he surmised, adding “unprecedented” to the presumption. He told me to turn on the “tube,” such nomenclature dating him as middle-aged. The phone rang again: “The second tower is on its way down. And, of course, this means it is no accident at all.” Which was my intuition as soon as I’d heard the first terrible tidings. Moreover, I knew instinctively who’d done the dreadful deed; and it wasn’t a new version of the Unabomber.

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