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Why I love British newspapers

I’ve tried to love the New York Times. Really and truly I have. And I do like it now. I appreciate it, and read it when I find the time and the change. (I went through the same love trauma with New York itself, after London. But now I love New York.)Tonight I’m leaving for Berlin but flying via London because I am using BA miles. Naturally, the London papers, as well as some whiskey, were waiting. And, as usual, I am instantly enamoured. In what US paper, from what US general, would you read this?

Al-Qa’eda’s end is not terrorism—that is their way of applying the means of violence; its end is the political one of achieving the ascendancy of Islamic fundamentalism.

So “the global war on terrorism” equates to a war on means, which makes little or no sense. Our objective—our end—must be the physical and intellectual defeat of Islamic fundamentalism as a threat to us. To this end, the means certainly include the use of armed force, but also, very importantly, engagement in the battle of ideas.

I should tell US readers that the Telegraph is known as a Tory or conservative newspaper—it’s not the liberal Guardian—and the sentences above from the autobiography of General Sir Mike Jackson, which are being serialized (and podcasted) this week.

One of the wonderful things about British papers, by the way, is that the publish fairly lengthy extracts from new books, and pay quite handsomely. The unexpected bonus of a serialization when my first book was published made life much easier right after my daughter Rachel was born.

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