The Axis of Evil deals extensively with Iran's involvement in terrorist activity against Israel through Hizballah after the Israel Defense Forces' withdrawal from Lebanon (May 2000) and the instigation of the Al-Aksa Intifada (September 2000-2003). It examines Iran's attitude towards the State of Israel since the rise of Knomeini, confirming that Iran sees Israel as a primary source of the world's wrongdoings and the epitome of evil. In turn, Israel has become one of Iran's archenemies. Over the years, Iran has strengthened its ideological links with radical Arab and Palestinian circles. In addition, it actively supports Hizballah, which acts on behalf of Iran from its base in Lebanon and perpetrates terror attacks against Israel and against representatives of Western and Arab countries in Lebanon as well as in the international arena.
This book is a comprehensive and in-depth study of Shiite and Iranian terror activity. In addition to drawing attention to the significance of Iran's contributions to terror, it provides readers with a better understanding of Iran's activities in light of the global war against terrorism as well as the deployment of American troops along Iran's borders with Afghanistan and Iraq.
Recent events have put the spotlight on Syria's policies and actions. After the assassination of a Lebanese politician, protests in Lebanon led to the withdrawal of Syrian troops. While the withdrawal averted an immediate threat of bloodshed, the Bush administration accused Syria of being a source of instability in the Middle East, with Secretary of State Rice charging that Syria was still active in Lebanon and was supporting foreign terrorists fueling the insurgency in Iraq. The U.S.-Syrian relationship is of critical importance to the United States' efforts to promote democracy throughout the Middle East. At the same time, the United States has been pressuring Syria to clamp down on terrorism within its own borders. Rabil provides a history of the modern U.S.-Syrian relationship, putting the latest events in the context of this contemporary history, and placing the relationship in the context of Middle Eastern politics.
Since the end of the Cold War, academic debate over the nature of war in the contemporary world has focused upon the asymmetric nature of conflict among a raft of failed or failing states, often held together by only a fragile notion of a shared communal destiny. Little scholarly attention has been paid, however, to one such conflict that predates the ending of the Cold War, yet still appears as intractable as ever: Israel’s hostile relationship with Lebanon and in particular, its standoff with the Lebanese Shi’a militia group, Hizbollah. As events surrounding the ‘Second Lebanon War’ in the summer of 2006 demonstrate, the clear potential for further cross border violence as well as the potential for a wider regional conflagration that embraces Damascus and Tehran remains as acute as ever.
This book focuses on the historical background of the conflict, while also considering the role that other external actors, most notably Syria, Iran and the United Nations, play in influencing the conduct and outcomes of the Israeli-Lebanese conflict. In addition, it also looks at Hizbollah’s increasing sway in Lebanese domestic politics, its increased military cooperation with Iran and Syria, and the implications of such developments.
This book will be of much interest to students of Middle Eastern politics, War and Conflict Studies, International Security and International Relations in general.
Clive Jones is Professor of Middle East Studies and International Politics in the School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Leeds, UK. His books include Soviet Jewish Aliyah 1989-92 (1996), Israel: Challenges to Democracy, Identity and the State (with Emma Murphy, 2002), and co-editor The al-Aqsa Intifada: Between Terrorism and Civil War (2005).
Sergio Catignani is Lecturer in Security and Strategic Studies and MA Programme Director for the MA in Security and Strategic Studies at the Department of Politics, University of Sussex. He is the author of Israeli Counter-Insurgency and the Intifadas: Dilemmas of a Conventional Army (2008).
In Global Security Watch—Lebanon, author David Sorenson explores Lebanon's arcane—almost dysfunctional—political structure and economic system, as well as the complex religious makeup of a country that is home to Christians, Jews, and Arabs with no majority faith. Sorenson also looks at how the nation has often served as a focal point of diplomatic and military conflict for other nations, including Syria, Iran, and Israel, as well as how ill-informed American policies toward Lebanon have ultimately harmed American strategic interests in the Middle East.
He sets up camp in a tent city built in downtown Beirut by anti-Syrian dissidents, is bullied and menaced by Hezbollah’s supposedly friendly “media relations” department, crouches under fire on the Lebanese-Israeli border during the six-week war in 2006, witnesses an Israeli ground invasion from behind a line of Merkava tanks, sneaks into Hezbollah’s postwar rubblescape without authorization, and is attacked in Beirut by militiamen who enforce obedience to the “resistance” at the point of a gun.
From the Cedar Revolution that ousted the occupying Syrian military regime in 2005 to the devastating war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006 to Hezbollah’s slow-motion but violent assault on Lebanon’s elected government and capital, Totten’s account is both personal and comprehensive. He simplifies the bewildering complexity of the Middle East; gains access to major regional players as well as to the man on the street; and personally witnesses most of the events he describes. The Road to Fatima Gate should be indispensable reading for anyone interested in the Middle East, Iran’s expansionist foreign policy, the Arab-Israeli conflict, asymmetric warfare, and terrorism in the aftermath of September 11.
Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.