An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terrorby David Frum, Richard Perle
This world is an unsafe place for Americans - and the U.S. government remains unready to defend its people. In An End to Evil, David Frum and Richard Perle sound the alert about the dangers around us: the continuing threat from terrorism, the crisis with North Korea, the aggressive ambitions of China. Frum and Perle provide a detailed, candid account of America's… See more details below
This world is an unsafe place for Americans - and the U.S. government remains unready to defend its people. In An End to Evil, David Frum and Richard Perle sound the alert about the dangers around us: the continuing threat from terrorism, the crisis with North Korea, the aggressive ambitions of China. Frum and Perle provide a detailed, candid account of America's vulnerabilities: a military whose leaders resist change, intelligence agencies mired in bureaucracy, diplomats who put friendly relations with their foreign colleagues ahead of the nation's interests. Perle and Frum lay out a bold program to defend America - and to win the war on terror.
An End to Evil will define the conservative point of view on foreign policy for a new generation - and shape the agenda for the 2004 presidential-election year and beyond. With a keen insiders' perspective on how our leaders are confronting - or not confronting - the war on terrorism, David Frum and Richard Perle make a convincing argument for why the toughest line is the safest line.
- Random House Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.40(w) x 9.44(h) x 1.07(d)
Read an Excerpt
These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
-THOMAS PAINE, The American Crisis, 1780
We too live in trying times-and thus far our fellow Americans have passed every test. They have shown themselves, as President Bush said in his speech in the National Cathedral on September 14, 2001, "generous and kind, resourceful and brave." They have fought and won two campaigns on the opposite side of the globe, saving millions of Afghans from famine and the nation of Iraq from tyranny. They have hunted down terrorists and killers, while respecting the rights of the innocent. And they have uncomplainingly accepted inconvenience and danger through tiresome years of lineups at airports, searches at public buildings, and exposure to further acts of terror.
Now comes the hardest test of all. The war on terror is not over. In many ways, it has barely begun. Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Hamas still plot murder, and money still flows from donors worldwide to finance them. Mullahs preach jihad from the pulpits of mosques from Bengal to Brooklyn. Iran and North Korea are working frantically to develop nuclear weapons. While our enemies plot, our allies dither and carp, and much of our own government remains ominously unready for the fight. We have much to do and scant time in which to do it.
Yet at this dangerous moment many in the American political and media elite are losing their nerve for the fight. Perhaps it is the political cycle: For some Democrats, winning the war has become a less urgent priority than winning the next election. Perhaps it is the media, rediscovering its bias in favor of bad news and infecting the whole country with its own ingrown pessimism. Perhaps it is Congress, resenting the war's cost and coveting the money for its own domestic spending agendas.
Or perhaps it is just fatigue. President Bush warned Americans from the start that the war on terror would be long and difficult and expensive. But in 2001 those warnings were just words. Today they are realities. And while the American people have shouldered those realities magnificently, America's leaders too often seem to flinch from them. Every difficulty, every casualty, every reverse seems to throw Washington, D.C., into a panic-as if there had ever been a war without difficulties, without casualties, without reverses. In the war on terror, the United States has as yet suffered no defeats, except of course for 9/11 itself. But defeats may well occur, for they too are part of war, and we shudder to think how some of our leaders in their current mood will respond.
We can feel the will to win ebbing in Washington; we sense the reversion to the bad old habits of complacency and denial.
Throughout the 1990s, thousands of terrorists received training in the al-Qaeda camps of Afghanistan-and our government passively monitored the situation. Terrorists attacked and murdered Americans in East Africa, in Yemen, in Saudi Arabia-and America responded to these acts of war as if they were ordinary crimes. Iraq flagrantly violated the terms of its 1991 armistice-and our government from time to time fired a cruise missile into Baghdad but otherwise did little. Iran defied the Monroe Doctrine and sponsored murder in our own hemisphere, killing eighty-six people and wounding some three hundred at a Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires-and our government did worse than nothing: It opened negotiations with the murderers. Mullahs and imams incited violence and slaughter against Christians and Jews-and our government failed to acknowledge that anything important was occurring.
September 11 is supposed to have changed all that. Since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, terrorism has become the first priority of our government. Or so it is said-but is it true? The forces and the people who lulled the United States into complacency in the 1990s remain potent today, and in the wake of the victories in Afghanistan and Iraq, they are exerting themselves ever more boldly.
With a few stalwart exceptions, such as Senator Joe Lieberman, the administration's Democratic opponents seem ready to give up the fight altogether. They want to give up on Iraq. They denounce the Patriot Act. They condemn President Bush's policies (in the words of Richard Gephardt) as a "miserable failure." Traveling to France in October 2003 to criticize her country, former secretary of state Madeleine Albright declared, "Bush and the people under him have a foreign policy that is not good for America, not good for the world." But as to what to do instead, they say nothing, leaving the impression that they wish to do nothing.
Nor is it only the president's political opponents who seem bereft of ideas. At the State Department, there is constant pressure to return to business as usual, beginning by placating offended allies and returning to the exaggerated multilateral conceit of the Clinton administration. Generals, diplomats, and lawmakers who retired and now work for the Saudi government or Saudi companies huff and puff at the damage the war on terror is doing to the U.S.-Saudi relationship. Members of Congress complain about the cost of fighting terror. On television, respected commentators intone about quagmires and overstretch. Leading journalists deplore Muslim and European anti-Americanism in a way that implies we are its cause.
If you ask them, many of these respectable characters will insist that they remain keen to wage war on terrorism. But press them a little, and it quickly becomes clear that they define "terror" very narrowly. They are eager to arrest the misfits and thugs who plant bombs and carry guns. But as for the larger networks that recruit the misfits and thugs, as for the wealthy donors who pay the terrorists' bills, as for the governments that give terrorists aid and sanctuary, as for the larger culture of incitement and hatred that justifies and supports terror: All of that they wish to leave alone. As the inevitable disappointments and difficulties of war accumulate, as weariness with war's costs and rigors spreads, as memories of 9/11 fade, the advocates of a weaker line against terror have pressed their timid case. Like rust and mildew, they make the most progress when they receive the least attention, for their desired policy coincides with the natural predilections of government.
President Bush's war on terror jerked our national security bureaucracy out of its comfortable routines. He demanded that the military fight new wars in new ways. He demanded that our intelligence services second-guess their familiar assumptions. He demanded that the State Department speak firmly and forcefully to those who claim to be our friends. He demanded that our public diplomacy make the case for America without apology. He demanded fresh thought and strong measures and clear language-none of which comes naturally to any part of the vast bureaucracy that Americans employ to protect the nation.
All of this departure from the ordinary has generated resentment and resistance. The resisters are supported by the heavy weight of inertia, by every governmental instinct toward regularity and predictability and caution, by the bureaucracy's profound aversion to innovation, controversy, and confrontation. And let us not forget that, for all the bravery of our soldiers, our military is a bureaucracy, too: It didn't like being told that cavalry had to make way for the tank, and the battleship for the aircraft carrier; it doesn't like it any better when contemporary modernizers tell it that artillery must give way to the smart missile or that conventional tactics must be reinvented for a new era. Really, it's no wonder that those few policy makers who have urged a strong policy against terror have been called a "cabal." To the enormous majority in any government who wish to continue to do things as they have always been done, the tiny minority that dares propose anything new will always look like a presumptuous, unrealistic, intriguing faction.
Taken all in all, it could well be said that we have reached the crisis point in the war on terror. The momentum of our victories has flagged. The way forward has become uncertain and the challenges ahead of us more complex. The ranks of the faint hearts are growing, and their voices are echoing ever more loudly in our media and our politics.
Yet tomorrow could be the day that an explosive packed with radioactive material detonates in Los Angeles or that nerve gas is unleashed inside a tunnel under the Hudson River or that a terrible new disease breaks out in the United Kingdom. If the people responsible for the 9/11 attack could have killed thirty thousand Americans or three hundred thousand or three million, they would have done so. The terrorists are cruel, but they are not aimless. Their actions have a purpose. They are trying to rally the Muslim world to jihad against the planet's only superpower and the principal and most visible obstacle to their ambitions. They commit terror to persuade their potential followers that their cause is not hopeless, that jihad can destroy American power. Random killings-shootings in shopping malls, bombs in trash cans-may be emotionally satisfying to the terrorists, but they are strategically useless: Two kids at Columbine did as much, and the Republic did not totter. Only truly spectacular acts of mass murder provides the propaganda the terrorists' cause requires. They will try again-they have to.
Throughout the war, the advocates of a strong policy against terror have had one great advantage over those who prefer the weaker line: We have offered concrete recommendations equal to the seriousness of the threat, and the soft-liners have not, because we have wanted to fight, and they have not. For us, terrorism remains the great evil of our time, and the war against this evil our generation's great cause. We do not believe that Americans are fighting this evil to minimize it or to manage it. We believe they are fighting to win-to end this evil before it kills again and on a genocidal scale. There is no middle way for Americans: It is victory or holocaust. This book is a manual for victory.
END OF THE BEGINNING
Pessimism and defeatism have provided the sound track to the war on terrorism from the beginning, first in Afghanistan, then in Iraq. Remember the "dreaded Afghan winter"? Remember how the Iraq war was "bogging down" when allied forces paused for two days to wait out a sandstorm? In Afghanistan, U.S. troops astonished the world with a whole new kind of war on land and in the air. In Iraq, U.S. forces overthrew Saddam Hussein's entire regime with half the troops and in half the time it took merely to shove Saddam out of Kuwait in 1991.* It did not matter: The gloomsayers were unembarrassable. Having been proven wrong when they predicted the United States would sink into a forlorn quagmire in Iraq, they reappeared days later to insist that while military victory had been assured from the beginning, the United States was now losing the peace: There was looting throughout the country; the national museum had supposedly been sacked; hospitals had been stripped bare by thieves; power was blacked out; and sewage was running into the Euphrates.
Now the pessimists are quivering because the remnants of the Baath Party have launched a guerrilla war against the allied forces in Iraq. These guerrillas are former secret policemen and informers, the regime's specially recruited enforcers, murderers, torturers, and rapists. They are men with nowhere to go. If they are found, they will be tried for their crimes, unless the families of their victims kill them first. The surviving leaders of the regime, hidden by one another, have money. It is not hard for them to recruit these desperate characters into paramilitary units and terrorist cells-what other future do they have? But it is wrong to describe these paid killers as a "national resistance," as some even normally sensible people have sometimes done. For a dozen years after Appomattox, former Confederate soldiers terrorized their neighbors, robbed trains, and killed Union soldiers. Was the Ku Klux Klan a "national resistance"? Was Jesse James?
The aftermath of war is always messy and often bloody. In the six months after the liberation of Paris in 1944, the French killed upward of ten thousand accused collaborators. A dozen years after the fall of communism, electricity and water sputter unreliably in much of the former Soviet Union. A Swedish journalist who visited Germany one and a half years after the end of World War II observed that the electricity is still out. People are "bitter, disillusioned and hopeless." They express fury at the Allies, especially the English, whom they believe to be "sabotaging renewal." Many argue that things are worse than under the old dictatorship. On the streets, foreign correspondents interview barefoot orphans, who clamour for an American visa. Above all, there looms the profound hypocrisy of the occupation itself, and its "attempt to eradicate militarism by means of a military regime."*
Post-Saddam Iraq has emerged from more than three decades of totalitarian rule and mass murder, from more than a decade of economic sanctions and systematic corruption, and finally from a month of deadly accurate bombing. Should anyone have been surprised that it took the United States a few weeks to get the lights working?
Yet a good many people who ought to have known better did claim to be surprised. And they have claimed more than that. They have claimed that the Iraq campaign somehow detracted from the overall war against terror-and that Saddam's success in concealing his weapons of mass destruction program somehow proves that he should have been left in power to build those weapons. These critics complained that President Bush weakened the case for war by offering too many different justifications for it. It never seemed to bother them that they had more than one reason for doing nothing-and that unlike the president's, their reasons contradicted one another:
- Opponents of the Iraq war like German foreign minister Joschka Fischer protested that they were "not convinced" that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction at all.* Meanwhile, former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft warned that if attacked, Saddam would retaliate with weapons of mass murder "unleashing an Armageddon in the Middle East."
- Opponents of the war insisted that Saddam had no connections with terrorism. Then they fretted, in the words of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, that if the United States attempted to overthrow Saddam, the United States could instead "precipitate the very threat that we are intent on preventing-weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists."
Meet the Author
David Frum, a former special assistant to President George W. Bush, is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.
Richard Perle served as an assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration and as chairman of the Defense Policy Board under President George W. Bush. He is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >
This book is written for the people who fall into 'Israel first, America distant second' category. It only promotes ultra right-wing fanaticism and racist zionist agenda. Nothing in this book is good for America or the Christians.
Advocating preemptive military strikes is both morally wrong and irresponsibly dangerous foreign policy. What if China just decided that the US was planning to attack them? Don't limit this idea to China either, any country could use our foolish unilateral approach to the war in Iraq as precedent for a strike against us. Despite the boorish fratboy threats of our current puppet figurehead, violence truly does not scare terrorists, it inspires them. Each Arab death that our military is involved in creates more hatred and enmity. Those who lost a brother, father, son, whatever, they hate us now. It may not be rational, but it's human emotion, instinct. Violence against Arabs will never end terrorism, just create more. How the hell do you expect to intimidate peole who are ready to die for their cause? Armed conflict between residents of the middle east and westerners has been going on since at least the crusades, and it shows no signs of yielding just because we kill a few more Arabs. It is unfortunate that people suffer in these countries, but we are not in a position to eliminate the suffering. Take a look at Iraq now, Saddam is gone, but suffering persists. Bush claims Americans are safer because of his policies, but Americans in the Middle East clearly are in greater danger. Americans at home, hell, I'm more worried about being killed by another American or a corporation than terrorists.
If you feel like you've missed the last 20 years and don't really understand what is going on in this war on terror, this book lays it all out very clearly. It is written so that the non-intellectual can read it easily. It is a compeling and interesting read, although terribly frightening at times.
These two men are dead set on the target at the end of a long tunnel:The muslims. they know that if you can't conquer them, you nuetralize them with Democracy. They won't admit it, but it's all in the book. Read carefully. They are adept at getting other nations to fight their wars. This is not their first book on this subject. their next target nation is......Iran maybe, Syria. eventually the whole middle east. Can never happen you say, visit the web site of the Weekly Standard, and stay tuned.
The main value of this book is to reveal the right wing fanatic view points of the authors.
Frum's and Perle's book is a refreshingly frank description of the problem of terror and their recommendations for strategies that would best solve it. Many reviews of the book (including most of those here) are transparently reflections of the reviewers' own revulsion toward strategies that they consider too 'hawkish.' Critics of the book, including many of the reviewers here, unfortunately tend toward ad hominem attacks on the authors rather than offering any facts or reasoning that show Frum and Perle's are wrong. That the strategy espoused in the book offends pacifist sensibilities is no meaningful response or counterargument to it. Frum's and Perle's views and proposed solutions may not all be correct, but their argument is a serious one that deserves consideration and equally serious responses. Or one can choose to let their mind cruise along on the lazy but popular track that holds that if a neo con says it, the opposite must be true.
Articulate and engaging while offering a peek into the future and how best to be prepared.
As anyone who likes current events would know, authors David From and Richard Perle are arch-conservatives and this book comes from that perspective. Whether you agree with them or not, they at least offer a cohesive formula for dealing with terrorism worldwide. Although unlikely to ever be followed, they arguably open the dialogue that must occur to begin to curb this global 'evil'. They leave the question of why to others and address the how. As long as there are people on earth, there will be evil (AND good) and since the beginning of civilization we have wrestled with how to deal with evil. Rather than offer diatribes against this book simply because of the political affiliations of it's authors, it would be well advised to read the book in it's entirety before commenting negatively; then offer either a better solution or show where the authors are wrong. Lock-step political invective that simply says 'anything the other side says is wrong' just because it's 'the other side' is by nature weak and unacceptable rebuttal.
Like Mein Kampf, this is terrifying stuff, and something we cannot afford to ignore. Especially given the authors' ties to the Project for the New American Century's report on 'Rebuilding America's Defences,' and how that more or less came true when Iraq was invaded, this view of the future as perpetual conquest would seem like rabid paranoia were the authors not so deadly serious (and literally deadly given the power of their political connections).
Richard Perle, millionaire embezzler with illegal financial shenanigans getting him in hot water weekly, and slimy Canadian hack Dvid Frum team up for another crack at crude Goebbelesque propaganda, financed by their insane masters at the American Enterprise Institute and The Project for a New American Century. These rapacious thugs should be in prison, not on the bestseller list. And remember, whatever these kooks say: the complete opposite is the actual truth.
This poor author never seriously gives credence to the question, 'WHY do these people hate the US?' All he appears able to do is mindlessly claim Liberals and Democrats and those who oppose Bush and his ilk are wrong. Unfortunately for the author, 9-11 happened on BUSH's watch, nobody else's, and for all the author's self-righteous conservative blathering, the program he outlines only asks for more of the same because it exacerbates and doesn't really address cause 1 of the things that are really behind terrorism, among which are the denuding people of their former homeland (Palestinians for example) by Western & American diplomacy, the forcement of people into poverty who then become ready to latch onto any religious or charismatic leader who promises them relief through hating and striking back at those those they conceive have engineered and who support the causes of their grief (the U.S., for example), and an imperialistic self-righteous attitude blind to its own glaring errors that make our country come across as a big international bully, as examples. The real solution is to solve those problems. It takes a broad liberal view that can see the other side of the story to see the real causes and cures and narrow conservative warmongers like this author just don't seem to be capable of that! Even the title of his book indicates his mindless simplisticness!