"Most Americans mistakenly believe that peace is the normal condition of mankind, while war is some weird aberration. Actually, it’s the other way around. Most of human history has to do with war, and preparations for the next one. But we Americans do not prepare for the next war, are invariably surprised when it erupts, and, since we did not take prudent steps when it would have been relatively simple to prevail, usually end up fighting on our enemies’ more difficult and costly terms. So we don’t know our enemy and are not prepared to fight effectively. Fewer still have any idea how to win. I’m in a better position than most on this score. I’ve seen, shot, captured, interrogated, and studied our enemies." On the other hand, some of these countries are considered “partners” of ours, but they aren’t. We can’t afford to be gulled by foreign countries that publicly declare their friendship, but then work in cahoots with our enemies....This kind of war is not at all new. It created our world. I dare say that most Americans don’t realize that the religious and political transformation of Europe that we call the Reformation entailed hundreds of years of very bloody fighting. The religious people who settled America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were fleeing that terrible bloodshed. The world badly needs an Islamic Reformation, and we should not be surprised if violence is involved. It’s normal. The important thing is to defeat the Islamists, and we must make it clear why they have declared and waged war against us, and why we reject their doctrines. We’ve got to stop kidding ourselves about the intentions of the state and nonstate supporters and enablers of violent Islamism, whether on the ground, in the mosques, or online. We speak for freedom, they denounce it and crush it. That means we are the bull’s-eye at the center of their gunsights. And we’ve got to stop feeling the slightest bit guilty about calling them by name and identifying them as fanatical killers acting on behalf of a failed civilization." You probably know who Michael Ledeen is, right? He is the right-wing kook whose academic career ended early on at Washington University for charges of plagiarism, and who has been calling for a Goebbels-style "total war". Michael Ledeen was in charge of cataloguing the captured document from the Grenada government after its invasion and occupation by the Reagan administration. And at a famous press conference, he declared that the document show beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Grenada government was conspiring with Cuba, the PLO, and the Soviet Union to bring the entire Western civilization under its feet--yes, the Grenada government. Whenever the US develops or finds an enemy, he ermines as the expert on those enemies and who declares the need for a "total war" against those enemies and more out there. So the thesis of the book is really Ledeen, as Flynn is still trying to find out if Khomeini is alive or dead, having called on him a few weeks ago to denounce the murders in Nice.