The Age of Jihad

Author: Patrick Cockburn
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 9781784784508
Release Date: 2016-10-11
Genre: Political Science

From the award-winning author of The Rise of Islamic State, the essential story of the Middle East’s disintegration The Age of Jihad charts the turmoil of today’s Middle East and the devastating role the West has played in the region from 2001 to the present. Beginning with the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, Cockburn explores the vast geopolitical struggle that is the Sunni–Shia conflict, a clash that shapes the war on terror, western military interventions, the evolution of the insurgency, the civil wars in Yemen, Libya and Syria, the Arab Spring, the fall of regional dictators, and the rise of Islamic State. As Cockburn shows in arresting detail, Islamic State did not explode into existence in Syria in the wake of the Arab Spring, as conventional wisdom would have it. The organization gestated over several years in occupied Iraq, before growing to the point where it can threaten the stability of the whole region. Cockburn was the first Western journalist to warn of the dangers posed by Islamic State. His originality and breadth of vision make The Age of Jihad the most in-depth analysis of the regional crisis in the Middle East to date.

The Rise of Islamic State

Author: Patrick Cockburn
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 9781784780494
Release Date: 2015-02-03
Genre: Political Science

The essential “on the ground” report on the fastest-growing new threat in the Middle East, from the winner of the 2014 Foreign Affairs Journalist of the Year Award Born of the Iraqi and Syrian civil wars, the Islamic State astonished the world in 2014 by creating a powerful new force in the Middle East. By combining religious fanaticism and military prowess, the new self-declared caliphate poses a threat to the political status quo of the whole region. In The Rise of Islamic State, Patrick Cockburn describes the conflicts behind a dramatic unraveling of US foreign policy. He shows how the West created the conditions for ISIS’s explosive success by stoking the war in Syria. The West—the US and NATO in particular—underestimated the militants’ potential until it was too late and failed to act against jihadi sponsors in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Pakistan. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Understanding Jihad

Author: David Cook
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520287310
Release Date: 2015-09-01
Genre: Religion

"First published in 2005, Understanding Jihad unraveled the tangled historical, intellectual, and political meanings of jihad within the context of Islamic life. In this revised and expanded second edition, author David Cook has included new material in light of pivotal events over of the past ten years, such as the revolutionizing events of the Arab Spring, the death of Osama bin Laden, and the rise of new Islamic factions such as ISIL. Jihad is one of the most loaded and misunderstood terms in the news today. Contrary to popular understanding, the term does not mean "holy war." This judiciously balanced, accessibly written, and highly relevant book looks closely at a range of sources from sacred Islamic texts to modern interpretations of the term, opening a critically important perspective on the role of Islam in the contemporary world. As David Cook traces the practical and theoretical meanings of jihad, he cites from scriptural, legal, and newly translated texts to give readers a taste of the often ambiguous information that is used to construct Islamic doctrine. He looks closely at the life and teaching of the Prophet Muhammad and at the ramifications of the great Islamic conquests in 634 to 732 A.D. He sheds light on legal developments relevant to fighting and warfare, and places the internal, spiritual jihad within the larger context of Islamic religion. He describes some of the conflicts that occur in radical groups and shows how the more mainstream supporters of these groups have come to understand and justify violence. He has also included a special appendix of relevant documents including materials related to the September 11 attacks and published manifestos issued by Osama bin Laden and Palestinian suicide-martyrs"--Provided by publisher.

Islamic Radicalism and Global Jihad

Author: Devin R. Springer
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589015784
Release Date: 2009-01-06
Genre: Political Science

Jihadist ideology inspires a diverse and decentralized collection of radical groups to fight alleged enemies of Islam and to attempt to “restore” a holy caliphate to unite Muslim peoples across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Islamic Radicalism and Global Jihad provides unique insights into the philosophical foundations, strategic vision, organizational dynamics, and tactics of the modern jihadist movement—with specific attention to its primary driver, Al-Qa’ida. Springer, Regens, and Edger draw heavily on Arabic language sources seldom seen in the West to explain what jihadists want and how radical thinkers have distorted the teachings of Islam to convince followers to pursue terrorism as a religious duty. With sophisticated and systematic analysis, the authors lead their readers on a fascinating intellectual journey through the differing ideas, goals, and vulnerabilities of the jihadist movement as it has evolved over time. The authors also impart wisdom from their own professional experience with terrorism, counterinsurgency, and intelligence to provide scholars, students, counterterrorism professionals, and general readers with this accessible overview of key radical Islamic thinkers and today’s jihadists.

What Have We Done

Author: David Wood
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 9780316264143
Release Date: 2016-11-01
Genre: Psychology

From Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Wood, a battlefield view of moral injury, the signature wound of America's 21st century wars. Most Americans are now familiar with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and its prevalence among troops. In this groundbreaking new book, David Wood examines the far more pervasive yet less understood experience of those we send to war: moral injury, the violation of our fundamental values of right and wrong that so often occurs in the impossible moral dilemmas of modern conflict. Featuring portraits of combat veterans and leading mental health researchers, along with Wood's personal observations of war and the young Americans deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, WHAT HAVE WE DONE offers an unflinching look at war and those who volunteer for it: the thrill and pride of service and, too often, the scars of moral injury. Impeccably researched and deeply personal, WHAT HAVE WE DONE is a compassionate, finely drawn study of modern war and those caught up in it. It is a call to acknowledge our newest generation of veterans by listening intently to them and absorbing their stories; and, as new wars approach, to ponder the inevitable human costs of putting American "boots on the ground."

Children of Jihad

Author: Jared Cohen
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1592403247
Release Date: 2007
Genre: History

Documents the author's travels to the Middle East in search of an understanding of radical Islamic violence, journeys during which he focused his research on Muslim youth and learned about his interviewees' perspectives and experiences at the risk of his own life.

1948 A Soldier s Tale The Bloody Road to Jerusalem

Author: Uri Avnery
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 9781780744445
Release Date: 2013-10-01
Genre: History

The first eye-witness account ever published of the 1948 Israeli War of Independence, this riveting memoir of a young Israeli soldier became an instant bestseller on publication in 1949, and is still recognized as the outstanding book of that war, in the tradition of Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front. First joining the Givati Brigade and later volunteering for "Samson’s Foxes", the legendary commando unit, Avnery took part in almost all the major battles on the Jerusalem and southern fronts. Written from the trenches, and from a military hospital bed, he offers an extraordinarily detailed account of the war, of fast-paced battles, and acts of extreme bravery, as well as the camaraderie and off-duty exploits of young men and women thrust into the front line. This is a gripping, sensitive, and at times deeply poignant account of the day-to-day brutalities of one of the most significant wars of our times.

The Syrian Jihad

Author: Charles R. Lister
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190462475
Release Date: 2016
Genre: History

The eruption of the anti-Assad revolution in Syria has had many unintended consequences, among which is the opportunity it offered Sunni jihadists to establish a foothold in the heart of the Middle East. That Syria's ongoing civil war is so brutal and protracted has only compounded the situation, as have developments in Iraq and Lebanon. Ranging across the battlefields and international borders have been dozens of jihadi Islamist fighting groups, of which some coalesced into significant factions such as Jabhat al Nusra and the Islamic State. This book assesses and explains the emergence since 2011 of Sunni jihadist organizations in Syria's fledgling insurgency, charts their evolution and situates them within the global Islamist project. Unprecedented numbers of foreign fighters have joined such groups, who will almost certainly continue to host them. Thus, external factors in their emergence are scrutinized, including the strategic and tactical lessons learned from other jihadist conflict zones and the complex interplay between Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State and how it has influenced the jihadist sphere in Syria. Tensions between and conflict within such groups also feature in this indispensable volume.

A Massacre in Mexico

Author: Anabel Hernandez
Publisher: Verso Trade
ISBN: 9781788731485
Release Date: 2018-10-16
Genre: Disappeared persons

"The definitive account of the mass disappearance of 43 Mexican students and the government that tried to cover it up On September 26, 2014, 43 male students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers' College went missing in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico. According to official reports, the students commandeered several buses to travel to Mexico City to commemorate the anniversary of the 1968 Tlatelolco Massacre. During the journey, local police intercepted the students and a confrontation ensued. By the morning, they had disappeared without a trace. Hernández reconstructs almost minute-by-minute the events of those nights in late September 2014, giving us what is surely the most complete picture available: her sources are unparalleled, since she has secured access to internal government documents that have not been made public, and to video surveillance footage the government has tried to hide and destroy. Hernández demolishes the Mexican state's official version, which the Peña Nieto government cynically dubbed the "historic truth." State officials at all levels, from police and prosecutors to the upper echelons of the PRI administration, conspired to put together a fake case, concealing or manipulating evidence, and arresting and torturing dozens of "suspects" who then obliged with full "confessions" that matched the official lie. In the wake of the students' disappearances, protestors in Mexico took up the slogan "Fue el estado"-"It was the state." Hernández's book is the one that gives most precision and credibility to the claim: by following the role of the various Mexican state agencies through the events in such remarkable detail, she allows to see exactly which parts of the state are responsible for which component of this monumental crime"--

The Broken Boy

Author: Patrick Cockburn
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781409018599
Release Date: 2010-08-31
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

It is very easy to get polio. Patrick Cockburn was six when he woke up one day in the summer of 1956 with a headache and a sore throat. His parents, Claud and Patricia Cockburn, had recently returned to Ireland, to their house in East Cork, careless of the fact that a polio epidemic had broken out in Cork City. He caught the disease and was taken to the fever hospital. The virus attacks the nerves of the brain and the spinal cord leading to paralysis of the muscles. Patrick could no longer walk. The Broken Boy is at once a memoir of Patrick Cockburn's own experience of polio, a portrait of his parents, both prominent radicals, and the story of the Cork epidemic, the last great polio epidemic in the world.

Scheherazade Goes West

Author: Fatema Mernissi
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9780743422536
Release Date: 2001-09-16
Genre: Social Science

Throughout my childhood, my grandmother Yasmina, who was illiterate and grew up in a harem, repeated that to travel is the best way to learn and to empower yourself. "When a woman decides to use her wings, she takes big risks," she would tell me, but she was convinced that if you didn't use them, it hurt.... So recalls Fatema Mernissi at the outset of her mesmerizing new book. Of all the lessons she learned from her grandmother -- whose home was, after all, a type of prison -- the most central was that the opportunity to cross boundaries was a sacred privilege. Indeed, in journeys both physical and mental, Mernissi has spent virtually all of her life traveling -- determined to "use her wings" and to renounce her gender's alleged legacy of powerlessness. Bursting with the vitality of Mernissi's personality and of her rich heritage, Scheherazade Goes West reveals the author's unique experiences as a liberated, independent Moroccan woman faced with the peculiarities and unexpected encroachments of Western culture. Her often surprising discoveries about the conditions of and attitudes toward women around the world -- and the exquisitely embroidered amalgam of clear-eyed autobiography and dazzling meta-fiction by which she relates those assorted discoveries -- add up to a deliciously wry, engagingly cosmopolitan, and deeply penetrating narrative. In her previous bestselling works, Mernissi -- widely recognized as the world's greatest living Koranic scholar and Islamic sociologist -- has shed unprecedented light on the lives of women in the Middle East. Now, as a writer and scholarly veteran of the high-wire act of straddling disparate societies, she trains her eyes on the female culture of the West. For her book's inspired central metaphor, Mernissi turns to the ancient Islamic tradition of oral storytelling, illuminating her grandmother's feminized, subversive, and highly erotic take on Scheherazade's wife-preserving tales from The Arabian Nights -- and then ingeniously applying them to her own lyrically embellished personal narrative. Interwoven with vivid ruminations on her childhood, her education, and her various international travels are the author's piquant musings on a range of deeply embedded societal conditions that add up, Mernissi argues, to a veritable "Western harem." A provocative and lively challenge to the common assumption that women have it so much better in the West than anywhere else in the world, Mernissi's book is an entrancing and timely look at the way we live here and now. By inspiring us to reconsider even the most commonplace aspects of our culture with fresh eyes and a healthy dose of suspicion, Scheherazade Goes West offers an invigorating, candid, and entertaining new perspective on the themes and ideas to which Betty Friedan first turned us on nearly forty years ago.

Shadow Wars

Author: Christopher Davidson
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 9781786070029
Release Date: 2016-10-06
Genre: History

For more than a century successive US and UK governments have sought to thwart nationalist, socialist and pro-democracy movements in the Middle East. Through the Cold War, the ‘War on Terror’ and the present era defined by the Islamic State, the Western powers have repeatedly manipulated the region’s most powerful actors to ensure the security of their own interests and, in doing so, have given rise to religious politics, sectarian war, bloody counter-revolutions and now one of the most brutal incarnations of Islamic extremism ever seen. This is the utterly compelling, systematic dissection of Western interference in the Middle East. Christopher Davidson exposes the dark side of our foreign policy – dragging many disturbing facts out into the light for the first time. Most shocking for us today is his assertion that US intelligence agencies continue to regard the Islamic State, like al-Qaeda before it, as a strategic but volatile asset to be wielded against their enemies. Provocative, alarming and unrelenting, Shadow Wars demands to be read – now.

Rumsfeld

Author: Andrew Cockburn
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1416546529
Release Date: 2007-02-27
Genre: Political Science

Donald Rumsfeld, who as secretary of defense oversaw the army, navy, air force, and marines from 2001 to December 2006, is widely blamed for the catastrophic state of America's involvement in Iraq. In his groundbreaking book Rumsfeld, Washington insider Andrew Cockburn details Rumsfeld's decisions in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and also shows how his political legacy stretches back decades and will reach far into the future. Relying on sources that include high-ranking officials in the Pentagon and the White House, Rumsfeld goes far beyond previous accounts to reveal a man consumed with the urge to dominate each and every human encounter, and whose aggressive ambition has long been matched by his inability to display genuine leadership or accept responsibility for egregious error. Cockburn exposes Rumsfeld's early career as an Illinois congressman, his rise to prominence as an official in the Nixon White House, his careful maneuvering to avoid the fallout of the Watergate scandal, and his skillful infighting as secretary of defense under President Ford. Cockburn also chronicles for the very first time Rumsfeld's subsequent tenure as CEO of G. D. Searle (and his devoted efforts to get governmental approval for the controversial artificial sweetener aspartame) as well as his interesting behavior in secret high-level government nuclear war games in the years he was out of power. President George W. Bush's hasty elevation of Rumsfeld as his secretary of defense proved historic, for it was the triumvirate of Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Rumsfeld who plunged America into the disastrous quagmire of the war in Iraq. Cockburn reveals how Rumsfeld's habits of intimidation, indecision, ignoring awkward realities, destructive micromanagement, and bureaucratic manipulation all helped doom America's military adventure. The book challenges the notion that Rumsfeld was an effective manager driven to transform the American military, examines the reasons that Rumsfeld was removed from office, and shows how his second appointment as secretary of defense reflects a deep conflict between President Bush and his father, former president George H. W. Bush. Brimming with powerful revelations, Rumsfeld is sure to emerge as the must-have piece of investigative journalism as America grapples with its difficult involvement in Iraq and the uncertain path the country faces today.

The Fall of the Ottomans

Author: Eugene Rogan
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 9780465056699
Release Date: 2015-03-10
Genre: History

In 1914 the Ottoman Empire was depleted of men and resources after years of war against Balkan nationalist and Italian forces. But in the aftermath of the assassination in Sarajevo, the powers of Europe were sliding inexorably toward war, and not even the Middle East could escape the vast and enduring consequences of one of the most destructive conflicts in human history. The Great War spelled the end of the Ottomans, unleashing powerful forces that would forever change the face of the Middle East. In The Fall of the Ottomans, award-winning historian Eugene Rogan brings the First World War and its immediate aftermath in the Middle East to vivid life, uncovering the often ignored story of the region's crucial role in the conflict. Bolstered by German money, arms, and military advisors, the Ottomans took on the Russian, British, and French forces, and tried to provoke Jihad against the Allies in their Muslim colonies. Unlike the static killing fields of the Western Front, the war in the Middle East was fast-moving and unpredictable, with the Turks inflicting decisive defeats on the Entente in Gallipoli, Mesopotamia, and Gaza before the tide of battle turned in the Allies' favor. The great cities of Baghdad, Jerusalem, and, finally, Damascus fell to invading armies before the Ottomans agreed to an armistice in 1918. The postwar settlement led to the partition of Ottoman lands between the victorious powers, and laid the groundwork for the ongoing conflicts that continue to plague the modern Arab world. A sweeping narrative of battles and political intrigue from Gallipoli to Arabia, The Fall of the Ottomans is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the Great War and the making of the modern Middle East.