Saturday, June 06, 2009

_Imperial Hubris_ Review

Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror by Michael Scheuer aka Anonymous

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I'm pretty disappointed. It's not terribly well written (typos galore), and it's long on criticism (some of it bitter) but short on suggestions. Some of the suggestions are pretty fucked up, too (build more minefields in Afghanistan?).

Most troubling is that it seems to dodge the biggest picture. Granted, members of the last 2 administrations have failed to look beyond "they hate us because we're different" and into the bigger picture of "they hate us because our foreign policy sucks." But Scheuer never really talks about the negative aspects of bin Laden's ideology.

Seriously, I'm OK with "US get out of the Arabian Peninsula." You can throw "out of Afghanistan" in there too...but bin Laden's goal is the return of the Caliphate, and the establishment of sharia in all lands that were a part of the Caliphate. Not only does this mean the destruction of Israel (be aware that I'm not particularly happy with Israel, either), it means some pretty big cultural changes in an area that hasn't been predominantly Muslim in a long damn time (part of SPAIN was a part of the Caliphate, no?).

What may be worse is Scheuer's tiptoeing around one of my big problems with the Taliban and Salafist Islam in general: the awful restrictions on women. He mentions, once (I believe), that the Taliban does not approve of "western feminism." Which is kind of like saying the Japanese behaved badly in Nanking. How are we going to reconcile human rights with a repressive brand of Islam? I've no clue. And neither, apparently, does the author.

View all my reviews.


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