The first is an excellent post at The Belmont Club that looks at Al Qaeda from the inside out. Of particular interest to me was the discussion of a certain terrorist document titled, "The Management of Savagery":
Zarqawi did not heed Al Qaeda’s requests. As the Iraqi jihad fell into barbarism, Al Qaeda’s leaders began advising their followers to go to Sudan or Kashmir, where the chances of victory seemed more promising. Al Qaeda, meanwhile, was confronting a new problem, which one of its prime thinkers, Abu Bakr Naji, had already anticipated, in an Internet document titled “The Management of Savagery.”
The theoretical basis for this strategy, an al-Qaeda document called the "Management of Savagery", has been the subject of study at West Point. It was anonymously authored by the mysterious Abu Bakr Naji, who anticipates the fact that while the Jihad will be everywhere tactically defeated by American forces, the necessary fate of each battlefield would be ruin and chaos; and it would not be an unfavorable outcome because chaos is on Allah's side. As the world's system administrator, America would be tied down attempting to restore order everywhere. The dilemma the US could not avoid was that to rule was to maintain order; but to fight the Jihad was to foul its own nest.
Wretchard notes that this kind of sophisstication and adaptation on the part of the enemy is something that the US is denied because of the insistence by many of dealing with terrorism from a legalistic perspective.
The second article is Victor Davis Hanson's postmortem on The Path to 9/11:
What are we to say about throat-clearing historians who damned the docudrama (often without seeing it) on grounds of the lack of historical integrity, this from a discipline where postmodernism--there is no objective truth, just rival discourses and narratives constructed on class, race, and gender--was not only appeased, but nearly destroyed the profession.
And what are we to think of Bill Clinton lamenting the movie's supposed deviation from the "truth", or Sandy Berger's concern about protocols, or Madeline Albright's apparent charge of partisanship, this from a former Secretary of State who has traveled the globe plugging her book by faulting her successors to foreign media in a time of war. Although I'm not a fan of docudramas, I found The Path to 9/11, with its disclaimers, far closer to the "truth" about the saga of bin Laden than what turned up in Bill Clinton's "factual" autobiography.
And, last but not least, check out Siggy's post "It's The Terror Tax Not The Patriot Act That Is The Problem" which highlights the enormous terror "tax" the world is paying because of the actions of a minority of radical fanatics of Islam:
Terror isn’t going away- and neither will the ‘terror tax.’ Unless and until we recognize that it is the terror tax and what that really represents, and not the Patriot Act, that is the problem.
Some things really are that simple.
The solution is not to waste time arguing about the Patriot Act, but to deal with the real "root cause" -- i.e., the terrorists.