Decade 9/11: Lawrence Wright and Fawaz Gerges

Friday, September 09, 2011

Lawrence Wright, staff writer for the New Yorker and the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 and the director of the Middle East Center at the London School of Economics and author of The Rise and Fall of Al-Qaeda, Fawaz Gerges, discuss the battle against terrorism over the last decade.


Fawaz Gerges and Lawrence Wright

Comments [20]

Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Looks like I asked "rose-ellen from jackson hts." a diffcult question.

Sep. 14 2011 11:29 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

rose-ellen from jackson hts.,

According to your conscience, is President Obama, President Barak Hussein Obama, a Christian or a Muslim?

Was President Obama ever a Muslim?

Sep. 10 2011 02:01 PM
rose-ellen from jackson hts.

Fifth column? delcare war on islam and you may have a point.My allegence is to my conscience [my sense of right and wrong,good or bad] and I would be oppossed to a war against islam or muslims]. Untill then I'm entitled to live here in jackson hts., with my beliefs and I'm entitled to express my beliefs-including my belief that 9-11 WAS blowback for our policies toward them and that our outrage has nothing to do with us valuing innocent human life [since we have never had a problem dropping bombs on men,women and children ]but rather that they brought us to the knowledge that there could be consequences to US for our policies toward THEM [carpet bombing villages and cities abroad, rendition to be tortured of dissidents who didn't support our proxy dictators etc].

Sep. 10 2011 12:25 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Comments such as those from rose-ellen from jackson hts. demonstrate that were people in the US who celebrated the 9/11 sneak attack on the US and that there is a fifth column within the US.

Sep. 10 2011 05:33 AM
Heather from NJ

As always, this was a great show... Two very intelligent and respected interviewees that have been great commentators on the subject of 9-11 since the tragic event. I appreciated the discussion about how this has affected Muslims in the US and abroad, but I can't help but wonder why you didn't get a Muslim perspective. Yes, both commentators might be knowledgeable about Islam and the Middle East, but neither are Muslim... It is unfortunate that many times Islam is spoken about in the media and academia by those that don't even practice the religion. I do not want to detract from what the speakers said, I would have really liked to hear from a practicing Muslim expert who has personally felt and seen the affects of 9-11, rather than "experts" on Islam that are speculating from the outside.

Sep. 09 2011 10:20 PM
dave from brooklyn

gary, you should listen to glenn beck; it will make you sound much more intelligent.

Sep. 09 2011 01:58 PM
rose-ellen from jackson hts.

Like the constitution [or the bible]- the koran can be interpreted any way you want.And though it is true that people no longer wage war on belhalf of christrianity- the 2000yr, history of europe christendem and its' conquest of america is one of murder in the name of God. Today we have no qualms murdering in the name of our real religion-americanism- and it is a false narrative to claim moral superiority because we don't kill in the name of religion. [Of course they are not attacking us over religion but because we unjustly meddled in their homelands for our interests and hid behind tyranical dictators.Our claim of valuing innocent human life is bogus as we've never had qualms about dropping bombs on men women and children all over the world or supporting regimes that tyranized through torture, inprisonment or murder their people but gave us cheap oil ,military bases and in the cold war did our bidding by murdering left wing or religious fundamentalist dissenters]. Hence sharia can mean anything we want;just like our laws which can one day criminalize abortion or the death penalty and the next day legalize it. Both laws deemed constituional either way.
Alquada -will always be remembered as the group that gave the americans blowback for their murderous policies towards muslims.Nothing will change that no matter how many people you've murdered and tortured since then- those freedom fighting muslims gave you a taste of your own medicine!And thanks to them you can never be complacent about being able to act in the world with impunity again. That is the real source of your anger.[Didn't God tell these people that only we have the right to kill and terrorize people in their homelands? How dare they claim the right to do in our homeland what no one else dared to do throughout our history of mass murder in other peoples' homelands!

Sep. 09 2011 01:11 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

"Elsie from Brooklyn

I really can't take another moment of this ridiculous Muslim bashing under the guise of "security". "

Do you consider checkpoints at airports, screening of ALL passengers, of carry on luggage, of ALL cargo "Muslim bashing" too?

Sep. 09 2011 12:32 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

gary from Queens AKBAR (is great).

Sep. 09 2011 12:27 PM
Zuwena from Manhattan

No offense to the interviewees but please, let's not reduce the civil rights movement to the 40 people on that list. There have been many, many individuals and groups- black and white- over decades who have died in the cause of racial civil rights, but it was a cause unrecognized at the time, and for some, still unrecognized and unappreciated.

Sep. 09 2011 11:38 AM
Lenore from Upper West Side

I am happily astonished to hear Gerges and Wright say what few others are saying--that Bin Laden won. We are weaker now than we were, and our civil liberties have been decimated, we are spending billions (and moral billions) on endless wars, and our politics have been invaded by mass anti-science delusion.

Check out in yesterday's Times Business Section an unjustifiably small report from the World Economic Forum--this year we fell from #4 to #5 in world competitiveness. They smartly include education in their ratings. In every way that I can think of (except pop culture!), we are a declining power.

Sep. 09 2011 11:38 AM
gary from queens

@EVC from B'klyn

Casting something as a "crime" doesn't mean that it was a civil crime subject to the federal criminal codes as you suggest.

When Bush legal counsels alleged that it was a "war crime". And it was. When an ideological enemy (as opposed to the mafia) declares war on the US, as Ossama had done more than in the 1990s, then carries out that threat by intentionally killing civilians, not wearing uniforms, etc etc, then they are guilty of war crimes and subject to either military tribunals or criminal courts in the Article 2 system----all at the descretion of the commander in chief, as Obama is doing now.

Obama is supporting preventive detention as Bush had done. Its actually a due process protection. Geneva conventions did not permit us to indict a captured german soldier in an Article 3 court for "murdering" a US infantryman. Indeed, that german prisoner had to be released upon end of hostilities and treaty with the defeated that it would decommission all combattants.

Sep. 09 2011 11:37 AM
Elsie from Brooklyn

I really can't take another moment of this ridiculous Muslim bashing under the guise of "security". We have been bombing Muslim countries for a decade now. Is anyone surprised that our foreign policy has created more fundamentalists?

For the record, I'm a Jew - and frankly, I've had it with the whole 9/11 obsession. We have killed hundreds of thousands (not 3000) of innocent Muslims in the past ten years. Who the hell are we to point fingers at anyone?

Anyone with half of a brain knows that the only reason why we've been in the Middle East is because of oil - that's it. It has nothing to do with "justice" or "security". If anything, thanks to our idiotic foreign policy, we've never been less safe. Enough.

Sep. 09 2011 11:28 AM
gary from queens

@thatgirl from manhattan

thank you for the complement. I don't watch or listen to Glem Beck, but I love what i read about his tour of israel recently and his support for zionism!

Sep. 09 2011 11:23 AM
dave from brooklyn

i wonder if our capitulation to osama's principal demand (U.S. out of Saudi) has increased or decreased the threat.

Sep. 09 2011 11:17 AM
EVC from B'klyn

In the hours immediately after 9/11, the Bush Administration characterized the attacks as a horrendous crime, but within days, the attacks were being characterized as an act of war. Constitutionally (and politically), if 911 was a understood as a crime, it would NOT trigger the Executive’s constitutional war power; however, if it was officially seen as an act of war, the Executive’s war powers would be triggered. The assertion that the attacks were an act of war is dubious legally in that Al Qaeda is an organization, closer to an international drug cartel than a nation state, but in the immediate aftermath of the attacks few were thinking about the war versus crime distinction or the implications for civil liberties.
Once the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists was enacted on September 18, 2001, the Bush Administration was able assert legal justification for torture, warrantless surveillance, indefinite detention, kidnapping (rendition), Abu Ghraib, GITMO and a roll back of civil liberties based on a claim of the Executive’s constitutional war power as Commander in Chief.
As long as the country is understood to be in a state of perpetual war with terrorists, those of us who are anguished by the assault on civil liberties will not have a solid legal argument to challenge the roll-back of civil liberties, legal protections, international treaty obligations, i.e. the Geneva Convention, and the ongoing rise of a national security state.
It is important going forward to press hard to redefine the ‘war’ on Al Qaeda as a prosecution of an international police effort by the US and all countries committed to eradicate international crime syndicates.

Sep. 09 2011 11:13 AM
thatgirl from manhattan

wow. looks like we don't need glenn beck and his chalkboard any more; you fill his shoes aptly, gary.

Sep. 09 2011 11:03 AM
gary from queens

And again, with due respect to Wright and Gerges, they also fail to realize we're at war with the wrong people!

Congress declared war against Al Qaeda. That would be like FDR seeking a declaration of war against Nazi party members, but not the German army or air force or navy. And not declaring war on Germany's allies, like Italy and Japan.

Fortunately, we were wise enough then (and less timidly politically correct) to have declared war against all the fascist powers.

Today, we must act accordingly and declare war against all jihadist groups, whether they are "affiliated" with al qaeda or not.

Hey, maybe we can classify them as Islamofascists, in keeping with our ethic to oppose fascism, whether its cloaked as a religion or not?

Sep. 09 2011 10:07 AM
gary from queens

And with due respect to Wright and Gerges, failing to understand the stealth jihad hinders their understanding of the military effort against jihadists.

For example, why did Obama order Seal Team 6 to kill Ossama.

The answer is, Obama is an apologist for Sharia, and thus islamic jihad.

What?! How do you figure that, Gary?!

Simple logic. The same logic for why Obama is killing all jihadists instead of accepting them as prisoners.

Ossama would have had to go on trial. Possibly in Tanzania or Kenya-----Obama's ancestral home.

Ossama would defend his actions. He would show where in the koran it commands muslims to kill infidels and apostates (ie other muslims).

He would show how the peaceful suras---the ones Obama quoted in his infamous, historically incorrect, Cairo speech---have been abrogated.

It would have been a public relations disaster for Obama and the defenders of the Koran and Islam as the "religion of peace."

Especially because the world would be watching the trial. It would be OJ II. Even Brian's audience---defenders of the Koran---would watch and presumably learn some truth.

Sep. 09 2011 10:00 AM
gary from queens

I respect Lawrence Wright's views on the violent jihad. But the focus by Islamists is no longer restricted to violence. The stealth jihad is seen as more successful in the US, and it's been wildly successful in Europe, where huge enclaves are now under Sharia law---and not the law of the governments of the UK or France or Belgium, etc.

Read about it here. Your jaw will drop:

And remember:

80% of Muslims in Dearborn Michigan said they support sharia law where Muslims are the majority

20% of Muslims in U.S. admit knowing of support for jihadists within Muslim community

The problem with Lehrer and NPR is that they shield their listeners to the real jihad. To the contrary, we're treated to the views of the apologists for sharia, like Manhattan Community Board 1 President Julie Menin in conversation with Daisy Khan, executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement.

Sep. 09 2011 09:53 AM

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