With daily television coverage of suicide car-bomb attacks, ambushes, drive-by shootings, stabbings, and other Intifada-type attacks around the world, the question arises as to why al-Qaeda does not stage such small-scale but deadly operations in the United States. From Washington and the presidential campaign trail comes a cocky, multi-part answer: our massive homeland security spending has worked; al-Qaeda is on the run and hiding; and/or the U.S. military is fighting the Islamists in Iraq and Afghanistan so they cannot come to America. There may be a mite of truth in each claim, but the correct answer would be frankly to acknowledge that al-Qaeda would have no trouble mounting the kind of attacks made against Israel in America — guns, cars, militant Muslims, and open borders for other needs are all readily available — but that, at this time, it has no interest in staging Intifada-type attacks in the United States.
Congressman Ron Paul’s new book, The Revolution, is an unusual presidential campaign book in that the candidate — Dr. Paul — is almost entirely absent. This is not to say that his presence is not felt; indeed, Dr. Paul is with the reader every step of the way and writes in a clear and very direct style. But the reader will find that Dr. Paul is not offering the audacity of hope or chanting change; he does not argue that it takes a village or having slept with a former president; and he surely does not hold up his military service as a reason why he should be elected. Instead, Dr. Paul politely, laconically, but frankly lays it on the line for his countrymen: America is in significant and potentially catastrophic trouble economically, financially, and militarily; the country’s political class is homogenous, gutless, and ill-educated; its two major parties do not offer a nickel’s worth of difference on important issues, especially foreign policy [pp. 2, 26, 163]; and our leaders are consciously negating parts of the Constitution, compromising America’s national sovereignty, and circumscribing the liberties of Americans. But then, astoundingly and correctly, Dr. Paul does not say “Only I can fix this mess” — as have Senators Clinton, Obama, and McCain — he says: “Only you, the American people, can fix this mess.” Dr. Paul confronts Americans with a reality that ought to both chill and inspire them.
Douglas J. Feith’s new book War and Decision. Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism is an old-fashioned morality tale written by a man with little discernible moral sense or any real concern for the truth. In a nutshell, Feith’s story resembles a 1930s cowboy movie. In the white hats are Feith, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and such of their retainers as Zalmay Khalilzad, John Bolton, Victor Davis Hanson, and R. James Woolsey. Here, according to Feith, is a team that exists only to support the president by considering all issues from every angle [p. 334] and which refuses to gain political advantage by leaking to the media. [pp.250-252] In the black hats are all those who are blind to the pure motives and sage brilliance of what Feith calls “Rumsfeld’s team.” The hats of the State Department and the CIA in this movie are particularly black because officials from both undermined the president and betrayed their country by disagreeing with Rumsfeld’s team.