The Forever War

41zlujxgfxlBook #20: The Forever War, Dexter Filkins

The last decade and a half has seen perpetual conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq.  In fact today’s kids younger than 15 know nothing other than America at war.  Yet, unlike other wars, the average American knows so little about what is going on thousands of miles away.  In fact, ask yourself, how did we get into each conflict?  What were the issues that drew us there?  Who are the major players and who are we fighting?  What are the major objectives?  In this book, Dexter Filkins writes about his experience as a reported imbedded with the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq.  He provide a unique portrait of 2 countries torn by war and divided by religious and political sects as well as a poignant memoir of the young Americans who served in these conflicts.

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So what do I think?   Continue reading

Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward

81lcxppx2bplBook #13: Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward, Nabeel Qureshi

As the United States has been faced with radical Islam over the past several decades, American political rhetoric has ranged from saying that ISIS is not islamic to banning all muslims from coming to the United States.  This has led some to ask the question, what is the true Islam?  Is Islam really a religion of peace?  Or do all muslims subscribe to jihad?  Does the Quran mandate the violence that we see around us?  Or is this just a rogue group of fundamentalists who misuse the Quran to justify their desires for violence and power?  Most importantly, how should we as Christians respond to muslims?  In this book Nabeel Qureshi seeks explain this history of violence in the Quran and explain the role of jihad in Islam.  He was raised in a muslim family and during college was challenged to examine his faith.  As a result of his study in islamic apologetics, Nabeel became convinced that the Bible was not only historically accurate but that salvation could be found in Christ alone.  In this book he draws upon his deep understanding of Islam and his personal faith in Christ to discuss the Christian’s approach to muslims in the contemporary era of violent jihad.

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I think that this book is the most succinct work that I have read to date that outlines history of Islam and the historical struggle against violent Islam.   Continue reading

Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS

b00rrt346e-01-lBook #12: Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS, Jobi Warrick

ISIS has become one of the greatest threats to the security of the United States, its citizens abroad and United States interests.  It is an Islamic organization similar to previous terrorist organizations based on a fundamentalistic understanding of Islamic theology that condones and at times mandates violence.  However this group has taken the violence against muslims and non-muslims as well as oppression of its people to a new extreme in a power play that harkens back to 7th century conquests by the followers of Muhammed.  This book describes the rise of ISIS by chronicling the life of Abu Musab al-Zarqawai and his successor Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.  It is a chilling read as it discusses the efforts of Al Qaeda in Iraq and the subsequent franchise ISIS in their efforts to destabilized the middle east and aggravate sectarian conflict.  It is a must read for anyone interested in current events in the Middle East as well as for policy makers who will be making decisions on our role in Middle East affairs.

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It Is About Islam: Exposing the Truth About ISIS, Al Qaeda, Iran, and the Caliphate

b00wrbqodc-01-lBook #5: It Is About Islam: Exposing the Truth About ISIS, Al Qaeda, Iran, and the Caliphate, Glenn Beck:

Since 9/11/01, we have become increasingly aware about terrorism and the threat of terrorism.  And much debate has happened over what motivates groups like Al Qaeda, Hamas, Boko Haram and ISIS.  In this book, Glenn Beck outlines the argument that terrorist groups are motivated by an apocalyptic agenda that is deeply rooted in Islamic theology.  He shows how radical islamic terrorist have been trying to infiltrate and degrade the culture of the west and return the world to 7th century islamic caliphate.  This book is a chilling read as you see how terrorists have infiltrated our country and see their future goals.

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What is my personal take on this book?  (sorry, this is going to be a long one)

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The Great War of Our Time: The CIA’s Fight Against Terrorism–From al Qa’ida to ISIS

b00nljkmog-01-lBook #24: The Great War of our Times, Michael Morrell

In the past decade, one of the biggest threats that we have faced as a nation is terrorism as perpetrated by Al Qa’ida and now ISIS.  During this fight, the CIA has played an important part both in gathering of intelligence but also in commitment of human resources to the fight.  In this book, Michael Morrell describes his career at CIA from his time as daily briefer of President George W. Bush to his retirement as deputy director of CIA.  He discusses the CIA perspective of events such as 9/11, Bengazhi, Snowden and other world events.  He provides an interesting history of Al Qa’ida and issues a warning about threat posed by ISIS.  This is an interesting book for anyone interested in current events and foreign policy as it pertains to the United State’s interests in the middle east.

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The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

b000jmkntw-01-lBook #23: The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, Lawrence Wright

In the wake of 9/11 radical, fundamental Islam has been in the forefront of the American consciousness.  But the people and ideas that formed Al-Qaeda found their roots decades earlier.  In this book Lawrence Wright outlines the history of radical fundamental Islam and their attempt to establish an islamic theocracy.  It is a fascinating trek through Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Sudan and ultimately to the foot of the World Trade Center.  As Americans, if we want to understand contemporary movements like ISIS we need to understand the history of the threat.

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