At one of the first dinners I had when I was in Afghanistan, with a group of Malaysians, Pakistani, East Indian, Afghans, Brits, Germans and Australians, the talk turned to politics. Someone began quoting negative statistics about the U.S. Offended, I asked where he got this ridiculous information. He replied, "The 9/11 Report, you've read it haven't you?" I said, well, no, and I couldn't think of anyone else I knew who had.
Most of this group had read it, and were astounded."You mean the most important political event in US and world history of the past 50 years and you haven't read about it?"I felt like the really dumb American so much of the world has grown to mistrust-- and vowed to get educated.
To understand American actions and policies in the Middle East and Central Asia, you have to go beyond the thin surface sensationalism of cable news, daily newspapers and weekly magazines. There are many well-researched books that detail the U.S. involvement in the "global war against terrorism."
I've picked a few that provide interesting perspectives on the politics that sent us into Iraq in Afghanistan. They are very readable. The list is to the right, and is in a somewhat historical chronological order. Each builds on the next, so the progression of how we got here and what the real threats are becomes clearer and clearer.
I'll add to this list and include a group of excellent documentaries and movies, later. We are heading deeper into a quagmire with potentially terrible consequences. Only an informed American public will make a difference.