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THROUGH OUR ENEMIES' EYES (M) Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Here "a senior U.S. civil servant with two decades of experience in the U.S. intelligence community's work on Afghanistan and South Asia" argues that the U.S. was unprepared for September 11 because "our own naivet‚ and insularity led us to underestimate the complexity and determination of our adversaries." Examining bin Laden's words and his leadership qualities, the author says that Al Qaeda remains largely intact and that its next attack will be more lethal than September 11.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"[Scheuer]'s examination of al Qaeda is a bracing corrective to much that has passed as analysis about the group." - CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen in the Washington Post "A masterful job at... interpreting what bin Laden is trying to tell America but that has fallen on deaf ears." - Studies in Conflict and Terrorism "Among the 'war on terrorism cognoscenti' in and around Washington, D.C., mere word-of-mouth established [Through Our Enemies Eyes] as required reading for anyone seeking to understand bin Laden, the movement that he cofounded and led, and the profound threat that it posed (and continues to pose) to the United States and to international peace. Accordingly, the book's reputation spread as a thoroughly reliable, trenchant, and commendably clear exegesis of al Qaeda's ideology, goals, and alarming ambitions.... The key to success in warfare, the Chinese strategist Sun Tzu wrote, is to 'know your enemy and you will know yourself.' In Through Our Enemies Eyes, Scheuer answers the first part of that irrefutable formulation." - From the foreword by Bruce Hoffman, senior fellow, Combating Terrorism Center, U.S. Military Academy, and author of Inside Terrorism "[Scheuer's] examination of al Qaeda is a bracing corrective to much that has passed as analysis about the group." - CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen in the Washington Post "A highly informative analysis." - The Washington Times "A masterful job at... interpreting what bin Laden is trying to tell America but that has fallen on deaf ears." - Studies in Conflict and Terrorism "A sobering portrait of Osama bin Laden." - The Christian Science Monitor "This is a book that all professional soldiers should read since it represents, in significant detail, the views and motivation of one of our primary adversaries, while clearly defining the severity of the ongoing threat." - Armor"
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 442 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books; Revised edition (November 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597971626
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597971621
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #676,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
After reading numerous books by so-called "terrorism experts," I was worried that the bookshelves would sadly fill with ill-informed literary diarrhea about one of today's most important issues. This book, however, provides a refreshing and skillful account of the rise of bin Ladin and Sunni extremism. Unlike other authors who churn out manuscripts with little substantive experience in the matter on which they are writing, the author obviously works in the intelligence community on counterterrorism issues. Most other books about bin Ladin are nothing more than a collection of warrants and press clippings, but this book provides substantive analysis of bin Ladin's pinnacle role in the rise of global terrorism. This is by far the best book I have read on the subject and I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to have a better understanding of what the country was facing prior to September 11, 2001. It also provides an alarming look at the current threat posed by al-Qaeda and Sunni extremist elements. If you want an uplifting book about how the U.S. Government safely has its hands around the issue of terrorism, this is not the book for you. If you want to learn about what the country is facing and how menacing and developed this new adversary really is, this is the book for you. It is written for the average reader, it is not an academic opus for the over-educated.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a remarkable book well worth reading by anyone who wants to know how dangerous our opponents are and how difficult the war with terrorism could get. The author is described as "a senior U.S. intelligence officer with nearly two decades of experience in national security issues related to Afghanistan and South Asia." He was forced to publish the book anonymously because it is so different from the pre-September 11 analysis of his employing agency.
His own disgust with the American intelligence bureaucracy is evident in his acknowledgments when he cites Mark Helprin about men who "knowing very little or next to nothing, take pride in telling everyone else what to do." He continues with praise for young civil servants "whose work ethic, intellectual honesty, and personal courage inspire awe and-if unleashed-are more than match for America's foes, foreign or domestic. Too often, however, their work is stymied by senior officers of my own generation. Mostly men, these senior officers have made careers by keeping silent in the face of unfairness, avoiding risk, and refusing to make decisions . . . Fortunately, most of the Republic's younger civil servants recognize with Helprin that this behavior is `more than a pity, more than a disgrace, it is despicable'" (xiv).
The current strategy of focusing narrowly on Al Qaeda, Bin Laden, and body counts "is the road to disaster, for the positions and force bin Laden has presented are a far more lethal and varied threat than that posed by any of those we have labeled as `terrorists' over the past quarter century. The strength of his personality and message is likely to lead to an enduring legacy that will long survive his departure from the scene" (xvii).
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Format: Paperback
This is by far the best of the countless books on Bin Laden (and there are a lot of them...) The author really knows what he is talking about, and since most of it was written BEFORE 9/11 that fact shows all the more why this is so important for every person to read. There is no fancy theorising in this book, and the author also shows that bin Laden really is religious in his motivation - it is his warped interpretation of Islam that is behind all this, and not some ludicrous notion of people hating us for our freedoms. Read it and be truly well informed on the present crisis. Christopher Catherwood, author of CHURCHILL'S FOLLY: HOW WINSTON CHURCHILL CREATED MODERN IRAQ (Carroll and Graf, 2004) and CHRISTIANS MUSLIMS AND ISLAMIC RAGE (Zondervan, 2003)
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Format: Paperback
This is undoubtedly the finest book on Bin Laden/Al Qaeda out of the countless I have read over the last several years. It is concise, clear, and absolutely terrifying as it makes clear that Al Qaeda is led by an able and charismatic genius who has been able to gather and focus the Muslim world's collective hatred of the United States and our one-sided foreign policy.

The thrust of this treatise is simple. Al Qaeda is smarter than we are (they don't have to win elections and they are not beholden to special interests), they are tougher than we are (aren't you afraid to die?), and they don't care how long it takes to win (Allah is infinitely patient and will be pleased with victory whenever it comes - why does my microwave dinner take so f*&*&%$#$ long to heat up?).

What I found most compelling is that the book is HEAVILY footnoted, quoting Muslim clerics, bin Laden, and other relevant Muslims. So, in other words, it is not some pedantic, crusty white guy lecturing me about why Al Qaeda is evil; rather it is Al Qaeda telling me in their words why they hate me and why they are going to kill me and how all of that is supported by the Koran and driven forward by the ridiculous and inarguably anti-Muslim foreign policy of this, our once great and now downward-trending country.

Whew, what a book. And what a world we live in.
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