Mark Helprin: The Central Proposition

The forthcoming issue of the Claremont Review of Books (please subscribe here) observes the tenth anniversary of 9/11 with featured essays by Angelo Codevilla and Mark Helprin. Codevilla, Helprin, and CRB editor Charles Kesler have formed something of a tag team in the magazine over the years criticizing our approach to the “war on terror.” Our friends at the CRB have kindly made Helprin’s essay — “The Central Proposition” — available for our readers. CRB associate editor Kathleen Arnn writes of Helprin’s essay:

The essay is a powerful one: Helprin argues that we have wasted the years since 9/11, and that we are facing as much danger now as we were then, only we don’t know it. Our central proposition for 10 years has been that it is possible to transform the Islamic world, and in this effort we have squandered a huge share of our time and resources, when we should have been thinking of our own defense. Efforts to remake the Middle East in our own image are futile, Helprin argues, and the main reason is Islam and a dominant culture that is centuries away from separating religion and politics.

Please check it out.

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