The Assassination of Rafik Hariri and Its Impact on the Middle East
Author: Nicholas Blanford
Publisher: I.B. Tauris
Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, known as "Mr. Lebanon," was killed by a massive explosion as he drove along the Beirut seafront on February 14, 2005. A business entrepreneur, who rose from nothing to become one of the most powerful men in Lebanese politics, Hariri's assassination has incited outrage and suspicion. Nicholas Blanford investigates Hariri's past, inextricably linked with that of Lebanon, and uncovers a murky world of shifting alliances between businesses, the military, politicians and diplomats. Based on exclusive interviews with key players, he traces the last weeks of Hariri’s life, and reveals who stood to gain from his death. He assesses its impact on Lebanese politics including the withdrawal of Syrian troops, Hezbollah and the peace process. Full of intrigue, shady characters, and suspense, Killing Mr Lebanon brings to light what the Lebanese people have clamored for since Valentine's Day 2005: "Al Haqiqa"--the truth.
Lebanon seems a country in the grip of permanent crisis. In recent years it has suffered blow after blow, from Rafiq Hariri's assassination in 2005, to the 2006 July War, to the current Syrian conflict, which has brought a million refugees streaming into the country. This is an account not just of Lebanon's high politics, with its endless rows, walk-outs, machinations and foreign alliances, but also of the politics of everyday life: all the stresses and strains the country's inhabitants face, from electricity black-outs and uncollected rubbish to stagnating wages and property bubbles. Andrew Arsan moves between parliament and the public squares where protesters gather, between luxury high-rises and refugee camps, and between expensive nightclubs and seafront promenades, providing a comprehensive view of Lebanon in the twenty-first century. Where others have treated Lebanon's woes as exceptional, a by-product of its sectarianism and particular vulnerability to regional crises, Arsan argues that there is nothing particular about Lebanon's predicament. Rather, it is a country of the age--one of neoliberal economics, populist fervor, forced displacement, rising xenophobia, and public disillusion. Lebanon, in short, offers us a lens through which to look on our times.
Inside Hezbollah's Thirty-Year Struggle Against Israel
Author: Nicholas Blanford
Publisher: Random House
Hezbollah is the most powerful Islamist group operating in the Middle East today, and no other Western journalist has penetrated as deeply inside this secretive organization as Nicholas Blanford. Now Blanford has written the first comprehensive inside account of Hezbollah and its enduring struggle against Israel. Based on more than a decade and a half of reporting in Lebanon and conversations with Hezbollah’s determined fighters, Blanford reveals their ideology, motivations, and training, as well as new information on military tactics, weapons, and sophisticated electronic warfare and communications systems. Using exclusive sources and his own dogged investigative skills, Blanford traces Hezbollah’s extraordinary evolution—from a zealous group of raw fighters motivated by Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution into the most formidable non-state military organization in the world, whose charismatic leader vows to hasten Israel’s destruction. With dramatic eyewitness accounts, including Blanford’s own experiences of the battles, massacres, triumphs, and tragedies that have marked the conflict, the story follows the increasingly successful campaign of resistance that led to Israel’s historic withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000. Warriors of God shows how Hezbollah won hearts and minds with exhaustive social welfare programs and sophisticated propaganda skills. Blanford traces the group’s secret military build-up since 2000 and reveals the stunning scope of its underground network of tunnels and bunkers, becoming the only journalist to independently discover and explore them. With the Middle East fearful of another, even more destructive war between Lebanon and Israel, Blanford tenaciously pursues Hezbollah’s post-2006 battle plans in the Lebanese mountains, earning him newspaper scoops as well as a terrifying interrogation and a night in jail. Featuring sixteen years of probing interviews with Hezbollah’s leaders and fighters, Warriors of God is essential to understanding a key player in a region rocked by change and uncertainty.
External Intervention, Power-Sharing and Political Instability
Author: Ohannes Geukjian
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Category: Political Science
Lebanon experienced serious instability and ethno-national conflict following the Syrian withdrawal in 2005, compounded by the Arab Spring, which led to regional instability and civil war in Iraq and Syria. Why did consociational democracy fail? Was failure inevitable? What impact could external powers play in creating an environment where consociationalism might be successfully implemented? This book addresses these key questions and provides a comprehensive analysis of how internal and external elite relations influence the chances of a successful regulation of ethno-national conflict through power-sharing. Exploring the roles played by Syria, Qatar, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United States and France, it argues that external actors in the Lebanese conflict largely determined whether power-sharing was successfully established and shows that the consociational democratic model cannot provide long-term conflict regulation in their absence. The author argues that relationships between internal and external actors determine the prospects for successful conflict regulation and pinpoints the crucial role of the external forces in the creation of power-sharing agreements in Lebanon concluding that future success is dependent on the maintenance of positive, exogenous pressures. This book will be of key interest to students and scholars studying politics, international relations, and Middle East studies.
Rafiq Hariri was Lebanon's Silvio Berlusconi: a 'self-made' billionaire who became prime minister and shaped postwar reconstruction. His assassination in February 2005 almost tipped the country into civil strife. Yet Hariri was neither a militia leader nor from a traditional political family. How did this outsider rise to wield such immense political and economic power? Citizen Hariri shows how the billionaire converted his wealth and close ties to the Saudi monarchy into political power. Hariri is used as a prism to examine how changes in global neoliberalism reshaped Lebanese politics. He initiated urban megaprojects and inflated the banking sector. And having grown rich as a contractor in the Gulf, he turned Lebanon into an outlet for Gulf capital. The concentration of wealth and the restructuring of the postwar Lebanese state were comparable to the effects of neoliberalism elsewhere. But at the same time, Hariri was a deeply Lebanese figure. He had to fend against militia leaders and a hostile Syrian regime. The billionaire outsider eventually came to behave like a traditional Lebanese political patron. Hannes Baumann assesses not only the personal legacy of the man dubbed 'Mr Lebanon' but charts the wider social and economic transformations his rise represented.
Publisher: Strategic Studies Institute U. S. Army War College
Category: Electronic books
The United States and Jordan have maintained a valuable mutually-supportive relationship for decades as a result of shared interests in a moderate, prosperous, and stable Middle East. In this monograph, the author highlights Jordan's ongoing value as a U.S. ally and considers ways that the U.S.-Jordanian alliance might be used to contain and minimize problems of concern to both countries. Although Jordan is not a large country, it is an important geographical crossroads within the Middle East and has been deeply involved in many of the most important events in the region's modern history. In recent years, the importance of the U.S.-Jordanian relationship has increased, and Jordan has emerged as a vital U.S. ally in the efforts to stabilize Iraq and also resist violent extremism and terrorism throughout the region. Amman's traditional role in helping to train friendly Arab military, police, and intelligence forces to its own high standards is a particularly helpful way in which Jordan can enhance efforts to achieve regional security. The United States needs to support efforts to continue and expand this role. Additionally, Jordan maintains a key interest in Palestinian/Israeli issues and has made ongoing efforts to play a constructive role in this setting. Helping Jordan survive, prosper, and modernize correspondingly has become an urgent priority for the United States in its quest for a secure Middle East.
Demystifying Syria offers an extraordinary insight into the shifting relations between the Ba'th party and the armed forces, civil law, social structure, burgeoning private enterprise, internal political opposition, the European Union and its relation to Syria. This book goes beyond the headlines to offer a detailed portrait of the political, economic, social and diplomatic dynami that shape this pivotal and fiercely independent Middle Eastern state. Contributors include Bassem Haddad, Souhail Belhadj, Baudoin Dupret, Zouhair Ghazzal, Thomas Pierret, Salwa Ismail, Joshua Landis and Joe Pace. 'Demonstrates how US intervention in the region weakened the position of the Syrian opposition ... shows Syrian studies in the best possible light, edited to a high level and recommended to everyone interested in the complexities - rather than the mysteries - of contemporary Syria.' Times Higher Education Supplement 'This compelling book offers the reader much food for thought on a country that certainly defies any attempt to be encapsulated in unidirectional and straightforward definitions.' International Spectator