Willful Blindness

American constitutionalism and sovereignty are under assault; our friends at the Claremont Institute have made it their mission to restore the principles of the American founding to their rightful, preeminent place in our public life. Foremost among the instruments advancing their mission is my favorite magazine, the Claremont Review of Books (subscribe here).

The new (fall) issue has just been published. In “Obama’s Brave New Deal,” I drew attention to CRB editor Charles Kesler’s lead essay “The audacity of Barack Obama.” It is a characteristically penetrating analysis of the political scene. I’ve asked the editors to place three more of the issue’s pieces online for our readers this week.

By my lights, one of the most important books of the year is Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad by Andrew C. McCarthy, the lead prosecutor of the case against Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and the 11 other perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. McCarthy recounts in meticulous detail the background to the case, which includes a history of the jihad movement in America.

“In quiet times,” Steven Emerson writes in his review of the book, “Americans are liable to become their own worst enemies; we lower our guard.” McCarthy calls the war against radical Islam “the great calling of our generation” and argues that we are generally ignoring that call. Emerson’s review is “Eyes wide open.”

Attention has been paid to McCarthy’s important book by conservative outlets including Rush Limbaugh and National Review Online. We noted two reviews of the book here. Commentary published an excerpt of the book in its March issue as “When jihad came to America.”

The mainstream media, however, have remained willfully blind both to the phenomenon McCarthy describes and to the book itself. Despite the importance of the book and the power of McCarthy’s first-person account, the New York Times, for example, has not even seen fit to review McCarthy’s book. John Podhoretz tells this particular story at Commentary’s blog in “Willful Blindness: The sequel.” John drily observes: “If memory serves, the World Trade Center bombing of 1993 took place in New York City. The trial also took place in New York City. The New York Times Book Review is published in…well, you get the idea.”

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