Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I hadn't heard of The Way of the World, but found it to be a fairly comprehensive picture of the current national security status, specifically regarding weapons of mass destruction. He jumps between George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Benazir Bhutto, an Afghani exchange student, a Pakistani professional emigre, a Blackwater expert on loose nukes, a lawyer for a detainee in Guantanamo, intelligence officials, and lots of anonymous sources. All of their stories, together, make up a compelling picture of what extremists are trying to do to blow up the Western world, what the West is trying to do to stop them, and the very grey middle ground. From private undercover teams that try to test our detection systems in buying weapons grade nuclear material and trying to get it into the country to what the detainees at Guantanamo were doing before they were captured, from conservative Islamic family culture to modern Islamic family culture, from George Bush's approach to fighting terrorism to the rest of the world's, from the willingness of the globe to help stop terrorism before we invaded Iraq to the difficulty and loss of moral leadership we encounter now - it's a very sweeping book. I was impressed - and not just because I found out a lot more about a friend of mine who I had no idea was a big focus of such a sweeping book (hint: it's not George W. Bush).