The Corner

Peace Through Learning

In this case, peace through learning alone is not going to cut it. We may gain some marginal insights into al Qaeda’s operations through reading OBL’s writings, but it isn’t going to assist us in a dialogue with his followers. There is no dialogue to be had with this radical movement. I ask you this: how much did you get out of Ted Kaczynski’s Unabomber manifesto? Perhaps you can simply dismiss that tome as the ravings of a madman, but the point is the same. We will not win the war on al Qaeda and radical Islamic fascists by reading Doubleday’s primer. I’m willing to wait and see, however, and hope that I am wrong.

Shannen W. Coffin is a contributing editor to National Review. He practices appellate law in Washington, D.C.

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