Lawrence Wright’s The Looming Tower won a Pulitzer this week for general nonfiction. Though the Pulitzers have become the occasion for a good laugh –a sort of celebration of buggy craftsmanship in the age of the automobile without the objectivity that real buggy craftsmen would bring to their assessments– if the award calls attention to the book and, even better, prompts wider readership in the newsrooms where the Pulitzer is revered, that would be a good thing.
“The most frightening aspect of this new threat,” Wright wrote about al Qaeda’s growth in the ’90s, “was that almost no one took it seriously. It was too bizarre, too primitive and exotic.” The threat remains, though much of the infrastructure assembled throughout the ’90s has been smashed, and indifference thinly masked by rote warnings has again become the policy of the Democratic Party and its MSM enablers. Wright’s “The Terror Web” was published in The New Yorker in August of 2004, but it is really a sequel to his book, a look at al Qaeda’s evolution post the invasion of Afghanistan. People who haven’t read both the article and the book (and Mark Steyn’s America Alone) really ought not be commenting about the war and the jihadist threat. They should be a sort of three part entrance exam to serious conversations about the war and the next decade.
UPDATE: I neglected to include a link to Wright’s September 11, 2006 “The Master Plan,” also from The New Yorker, which also should be read by everyone commenting on the war.