Publisher: Random House (Prima Publishing)
Copyright: 1999, 2001
Cover: AP/Wide World Photos
reviewed by: Lynard Barnes 8/8/2002
Summary: Good general guide to the “terrorist” milieu.
Bodansky presents the term “the Hub of Islam” to define the area between Morocco and India. Political science, as a discipline, is replete with such catch-basin terms wherein the terms themselves denote some “particular” geo-political interest. The author explains the “Hub of Islam” and provides coherent explanations as to why it–the Hub–and the West are in conflict. If the “Hub of Islam” is meant to be a backdrop for explaining the why of Osama Bin Laden, Bodansky fails. It is a minor failure.
The Bin Laden orchestrated terrorist attacks are chronicled in some detail. The reader does not get Bin Laden per se, but does get an inkling of the rationale behind the Islamists and their war with the West. (Not all Muslims are Islamists, but all Islamists are Muslims–Bodansky’s distinction on the religious aspect of the Hub of Islam). An “inkling” of the rational behind the Islamists because the author is confined to the politically correct avenue of explaining the conflict between the Islamists and the West in terms of culture and religion. Culture and religion are the façade, the smoke and mirrors show behind which moves powerful and rich Arab political and economic interests. Remember the press briefings of Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf (“Comical Ali”) during the Iraq war when, even with U.S. tanks rolling by in the background, he was adamant that Iraq was driving the invaders back. Funny, yes. But the little comedy act typifies the ability of the autocratic rich and powerful of the “Hub” to front their reality to be just about anything they want. Bin Laden is rich and powerful. Bin Laden is of the rich and powerful. It’s all about protecting the money, boys and girls.