Tag Archives: The Looming Tower: Al-Queda and the Road to 9/11

Honoring our Military with a special Book Synopsis Presentation/Gathering – The Leadership Secrets of the Navy SEALs

The business world has increasingly become a world of individuals.  Corporate teams that once banded together to push forward are now like mercenary gangs…  Corporate culture has often become little more than a sea of managerial nomads, loyal to no one and motivated overwhelmingly by salary, convenience, and the size of the corporate gym…
This has been a disaster for managers and leaders who want to create values and get results.  It’s difficult to lead workers who have been abandoned to senior management.  It’s tough to make unpopular choices when senior management won’t back you up.  It’s hard to stay on course when subordinates can go around you. 
Enough…  It’s time to run your organization like a team again, and in a manner that is principally designed to produce results. 
Jeff Cannon, and Lieutenant Commander Jon Cannon:  Leadership Lessons of the U.S. Navy SEALS : Battle-Tested Strategies for Creating Successful Organizations and Inspiring Extraordinary Results


You are invited…

As we ponder the remarkable accomplishment of Navy SEAL Team 6, we will host a special Bonus Program Book Synopsis, focusing on the book  Leadership Lessons of the U.S. Navy SEALS : Battle-Tested Strategies for Creating Successful Organizations and Inspiring Extraordinary Results by Jeff Cannon and Lieutenant Commander Jon Cannon.

I presented my synopsis of this book at the special request of a client company, and it is both a good book, and worth a new look after the recent accomplishment of this remarkable group of professionals in Pakistan.

I will begin will begin with a few reflections from the book The Looming Tower:  Al-Queda and The Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright (Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, 2007), and then present the full synopsis of the Navy SEALs book.

Proceeds will be donated to Fisher House (Helping Military Families).  Fisher House is rated 4 stars by Charity Navigator, their highest rating..

Date:  May 23
Time:  7:30 am (we will begin serving breakfast at 7:00 am)
Place:  Park City Club, in the Park Cities/Dallas (near the corner of Northwest Highway and the Tollway)
Cost:  $30.00.

Please let us know if you plan to attend.  We will not offer on-line registration.  Either send me a direct e-mail (click here to send me that e-mail), or call Karl Krayer at 972-601-1537 to reserve your spot.  You can pay at the door with either check, cash, or credit or debit card.

Thank you.

A Reading List – Post 9/11 (A Good List to check out After the Death of Bin Laden)

I have oft quoted, on this blog, and in countless presentations, from The Looming Tower:  Al-Queda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright (winner of the Pulitzer Prize, 2007).  And Inside the Kingdom by Carmen Bin Laden.

Here is s link to a reading list, all books that were highlighted on PBS, with links to interviews with the authors:  A Reading List for the Post-9/11 Eraposted by Molly Finnegan , May 3, 2011.  From the intro:

The NewsHour has featured conversations with many writers over the past decade on books that address, directly and indirectly, how 9/11, bin Laden and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have influenced how we live today. After the jump, find a sampling of some of these featured titles with links to the full conversations.

The list is a good one, and, yes, it includes The Looming Tower.  Here is the quote lifted from the full interview (link on the page) with Wright on the book list page:

From the conversation:
“Humiliation is one of the most common words in bin Laden’s vocabulary. Certainly there have been many Muslim men who have been physically humiliated, especially Arabs and Egyptians in those prisons. For instance, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the number two guy in al-Qaida, experienced three years of torture in Egyptian prisons, as was true of many people who are in al-Qaida today. I think that accounts for the appetite for bloodshed that’s so characteristic of al-Qaida and so unusual in many respects for a terrorist movement, which is normally just interested in theater….When he uses that term, it resonates with many Muslims who feel that Islam has been in retreat for hundreds of years and been displaced from his proper place in the world.”


The Muslim Brotherhood – The Hostility Goes Way Back (with insight from The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright)

Here’s some serious background reading to recommend.

Shortly after it came out, I read the book The Looming Tower:  Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright. He won the Pulitzer Prize for this book (for General Nonfiction – 2007).

Sayyid Qutb

As the Egypt situation unfolds, this might be a good book to put in your reading stack.  We hear a lot about the Muslim Brotherhood.  Here is a little background from the book about Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood (there is much more in the book).

The year was 1949.  Sayyid Qutb, (who later had an enormous influence on Osama bin Laden), was in Washington D.C. studying English.  He had his tonsils removed at the George Washington University hospital, where he has deeply offended by the conversations, and the “look,” of an American nurse.

“News came of the assassination of Hasan al-Banna, the Supreme Guide for the Society of the Muslim Brothers, on February 12, in Cairo.  “Today, the enemy of Christianity in the East was killed,” he says the doctors told him.  “Today, Hasan al-Banna was murdered…”

Banna’s voice was stilled just as Qutb’s book Social Justice in Islam was being published – the book that would make his reputation as an important Islamic thinker…

Shortly after, Qutb was offered a fee of ten thousand dollars for the rights to translate his new book into English, “a fantastic sum for such an obscure book.”  Qutb refused.  He later speculated that James Heyworth-Dunne (the man who offered the fee) was attempting to recruit him to the CIA.  “I decided to enter the Brotherhood even before I left the house.”

The book is filled with insight into the thinking of the Muslim Brotherhood (“It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law in all nations, and to extend its power to the entire planet,” wrote Hasan al-Banna).

Hasan al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Ikhwan al-Muslimeen, in 1928

And the book is filled with details about the treatment of its followers in Egyptian prisons.

In 1955, some of the imprisoned Brothers staged a strike and refused to leave their cells.  They were gunned down.  Twenty-three members were killed and forty-six injured.  Qutb was in the prison hospital when the wounded men were brought in.  Shaken and terrified, Qutb wondered how fellow Muslims could treat each other in such a way.

In this week of protest erupting into violence in Egypt, it might help to read some background. As Lawrence Wright captured, everything is connected, and goes back quite a ways.

And, by the way, learning about Sayyid Qutb is a good/important addition to your learning plan.

• (for a quick read about Qutb, read this article from American Public Media. Scroll down into the article).