And this post about it is probably too long to be proportionate to their quickly read result.

Their overarching premise that America has changed from an aggressive stance against terrorists to an unfavorable placating one is presented straightforwardly, sometimes earnestly enough that opponents may find it abrasive, in eight easily read, oft foot-noted chapters.

Starting out, Bennett and Leibsohn address the Fort Hood Massacre noting the many signs of trouble that were ignored in an attempt to flow with our country’s values, namely tolerance and understanding.  As the author’s express this, “through our… actions, we are not now…on a serious war footing against our enemies, Islamic terrorists; but rather, we are abnegating the cultural, policy, and rhetorical responsibilities of rational self-defense.”

They argue that our conciliatory stance is evidenced by statements like the following: “As horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.” and that this attitude, which they argue allowed the Fort Hood Massacre to occur in the first place, is pervasive not only internally but is also the face we are showing the terrorists themselves and the international community.

The authors then address what they believe to be an absurd amount of caution and mollifying language used from the leaders of the land.  Apologizing for using the word ‘crusade’ to refer to our ‘war’, changing ‘war’ itself to ‘struggle’ and ‘Muslim extremists’ to

They continue on to make their case that in America’s attempt to be ‘fair’ and avoid persecuting innocents, good goals in and of themselves, we have leapt off the other end of the spectrum to the point where we not only speak softly but also lay down our sticks in the face of the enemies.  Rather than addressing horrendous evil as evil, we spread a comforting blanket over everyone that says, ‘We do wrong things, you do wrong things, we’re all in the same boat.  We are going to give you respect you don’t deserve and explain why we don’t deserve the respect you give us either.’

They speak of administrations and key figures (not merely one) that play down the problems and refuse to ‘call a spade a spade’.  Of leaders who by catering to those who permit and assist those who despise us, essentially present a submissive posture to the very people who threaten us which in turn encourages MORE acts of terror, not fewer.  They back this up by citing the number of terrorist activities performed during the ‘war on terror’ versus the number since we have rephrased this to be a ‘struggle’ and begun meeting and placating those whom we should be admonishing.

I appreciated the authors’ efforts to put history in perspective alongside some of the rationales behind this behavior and behind some of the speeches given that evidenced this attitude.  I further appreciated that they took the time to evaluate the ‘terror grows out of poverty…’ idea by pointing out that most of the leaders and instigators are not those who are poor or unprivileged in another way, but actually started out highly educated , wealthy or both.

I do wish I had a better grasp of the more recent historical events as I found myself doing some research on certain items the authors referred to, but this is not a negative for the book as I’m sure both authors would agree that we could all use a better understanding of history so as to act prudently in the current age.

The Fight of Our Lives is highly recommended to those who do not understand why terrorists require our attention and why, perhaps even a bit of the ‘how’, we should be addressing them so as to effectively eliminate the threat they pose.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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