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July 14, 2004

More on 'Imperial Hubris'

Brian Curtis offers charitable synopsis of Imperial Hubris in today's Slate, The Misunderstood Osama: How to read Imperial Hubris. For a guy who writes a column called "The Good Bits," Curtis gives awfully short shrift to the ranty, bloodthirsty parts of IH. This is a valuable public service because all that "war of all against all" talk might distract readers from the author's clear sighted observations about how Al Qaeda works, how Osama Bin Laden leads, and how the Muslim world sees America.

As Curtis notes, the author of Imperial Hubris is a veteran CIA analyst named Michael Scheuer. The CIA tried to force Scheuer to publish anonymity, an unusual requirement given that Imperial Hubris is based on the author's opinions and facts in the public domain.The Boston Pheonix relieved Sheuer of his anonymity after learning that he didn't want it in the first place.

For a shorter and less apocalyptic variation on Scheuer's theme, see Gwynne Dyer's It's Not Always About You. Like Scheuer, Dyer argues that America's narcissism has warped its response to terrorism.

[Dyer link submitted by reader Barry Beyerstein.]


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