There are two reviews of what promises to be a most interesting book to read these days, The Looming Tower -- Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright in The New York Times. In the Sunday Book Review of August 6, Dexter Filkins writes:
'The Looming Tower' is full of such surprising detail. Al-Qaeda's leaders had all but shelved the 9/11 plot when they realized they lacked foot soldiers who could pass convincingly as westernized Muslims in the United States. At just the right moment Atta appeared along with.....all Western-educated transplants, offering themselves up for slaughter. The game was on.
More to the point, he writes: 'Wright shows, correctly, that at the root of Islamic militancy --- its anger, its antimodernity, its justifications for murder --- lies a feeling of intense humiliation. ......They were angry but powerless in their own countries.'
It is too complex to summarize such a book review. Filkins and Michiko Kakutani's reviews can be read at www.nytimes.com/pages/books/index.html
One of Germany's main TV channel, ZDF, aired a documentary yesterday on the state of the United States five years after 9/11. How has the US changed in the five years following the attacks? Americans, it explained, are still in shock at being vulnerable in their own country, something which they have not experienced in over 150 years. Civilian victims were last seen in the US in its Civil War. The journalist and his team criss-crossed the US --- Texas, Staten Island, California, Brooklyn, Michigan and Indiana, for example, and sought out citizens irregardless of their political leanings. A psychiatrist in Michigan claimed in an interview that Americans are not only suffering from the terror attacks but from the political fallout at home from 9/11. The bottom line revealed that many Americans feel helpless and sceptical about the political fallout and in particular they are extraordinarily pensive about the direction the country is going in. A summary in Germany can be read at www.zdf.de/ZDFde/inhalt/7/0,1872,3964935,00.html