This post probably would have been more useful an hour ago, before the program started, huh? No matter. It’ll re-air at midnight on CNN Headline News; our west coast readers can catch it at seven and then again at nine (and midnight, natch). Odds are it’ll end up posted at Jihad Depot in the next day or so too, so no worries.

For what it’s worth, the Freepers who watched the early showing are in raptures.

To complement your viewing, I suggest downloading the executive summary of “The Militant Ideology Atlas,” a new report released today by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. Don’t be daunted by the length: the summary itself occupies only seven of the 23 pages. Instead of the usual terrorist flow charts this sort of counterterror analyses tends to traffic in, this one focuses on the clerics and ideologues who help shape jihadist philosophy, such as it is. I’m embarrassed to say that the man they name as the most influential “thinker” in the world in this vein is someone I’ve never heard of.

This part is kind of important too. Whither the tiny minority?

The West, especially the United States, should be modest about its ability to intellectually challenge Salafism [i.e., Wahhabism]. The movement gained mass popularity during the last century and Salafis now constitute a majority or significant portion of the Muslim population in the Middle East and North Africa. This is despite the fact that it was often strongly opposed by secular nationalist regimes and non-Salafi clerics. Western governments have neither the local credibility nor the cultural expertise necessary to diminish the popularity of Salafism.

The full summary is well worth your time.

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Update: Some of our commenters have seen it and second the Freepers’ recommendation. Apparently I was wrong about the west coast air time, though: it’s not on at seven, only at nine. Duly noted.

Update: You know who really needs to watch this program? The Republican leadership.