“Everyday Jihad,” by Bernard Rougier

Nur al-Cubicle has this to say about the new book everyone is talking about. I have ordered it.

Everyday Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam among Palestinians in Lebanon by Bernard Rougier 

Dear Joshua.

I wish I were not so #&*% busy, I'd like to write a proper book review.

Anyway here's what I learned from the book by Bernard Rougier, Le Jihad Quotidien.

It is inconceivable that the "Jihadists" of Nahr el-Bared were in any way sponsored by the Syrians. Indeed, both Nahr el-Bared and Aïn el-Héloué were special Syrian preserves where the Syrians attempted with some success to discredit the PLO and Fatah.

Unlike the others, these two camps were allowed "construction materials and equipment" and portraits of Assad and his father replaced those of Arafat in the souks. The Syrians also launched several anti-Jihadist intelligence initiatives to keep tabs on the SCORES of Palestinians who had gone to Peshawar/Afghanistan and come back. Those camps are, effectively, Peshawar West.

The departure of the Syrians took the lid off the boiling pot. Jumblatt, who rages about Syrian responsibility for the Jihadist mini-uprising is obviously lying IMHO.

Also, I learned that Rafik Hariri was in big trouble with the Islamic community at large for passing a number of laws restricting who could elect the mufti of Lebanon (from hundreds to a handful of persons). He also hanged three young men for the assassination of an Abash figure (the Islamic charity run by Syrian intelligence but _forbidden_ in Syria) much to the displeasure, again, of the Lebanese Islamic community.

I have much much more to cover, including the recruiting bureaus for Jihad against the Russians in Afghanistan (actually the author points out that the Jihadists in fact went combat the impious marxist Afghanis) and the fact radical Islamists (among whom there must have certainly been al-Qaeda operatives) used on hold conferences in_Chicago_ in the 1990's. Heh.

I'll see if in the next couple of weeks I can put together something more coherent. The book's narrative is quite complex. But I wanted to reply to the Nahr el-Bared question, as Jumblatt is waving the bloody rag again.

 I highly recommend the book.

 Regards,  Nur

Book info: "Le Jihad au Quotidien" by Bernard Rougier. Publisher: Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 2004 Available from www.amazon.fr

in English: Everyday Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam among Palestinians in Lebanon by Bernard Rougier. $19 at Amazon. "BTW, the English version is more comprehensive and has a new final chapter," writes T-desco.

Brief bio on the author : Mr. Rougier, who is fluent in Arabic, holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and lectured on Political Sociology and International Relations at St. Joseph University, Beirut, from 1996 to 2002, the period during which the research for the book was conducted. He is now a research fellow at the French Intitute for the Middle East in Amman, Jordan.

Comments (15)

majedkhaldoun said:

to answer Alex question,all the countries which Alex mentioned are not Syrias neighbors except Turkey,at the present time Turkey is the answer, but we should always try to have good relations with KSA .
General M Aoun would be a strong lebanese president,he is energetic, cunning, I dont think HA trust him completely, once he is president he will no longer needs HA, HA knows this,their best bet, they will not attend the voting,–Berri is zero on the left.
I think the assassinatio plots were uncovered by Egypt intelligence.

November 3rd, 2007, 1:27 am


Nur al-Cubicle said:

Oh my goodness. I am receiving some rather emphatic attention here, Joshua. I modestly thank you. I hope Monsieur Rougier’s royalties will experience a nice boost, too.

I had no idea that the book had been translated into English. Well, that’s great, it’s a riveting read in any language.

By the way, there was a picture of Hariri Jr. and Gen. Aoun after their meeting in Paris and they both had smiles a mile wide. Nasrallah is making positive noises too. It appears a firm deal has been stuck on who is going to be the next President of Lebanon.

November 3rd, 2007, 3:31 am


ausamaa said:

Dont like the latest invention by the Bush Admin; A meeting about LEBANON to be attended by all except Syria!!

Well, Rice can do and say whatever she wants no matter how cunning or how stupid it is, she thinks that she is trying to promote her interests. But what should we say about the submissiveness of the IMPORTANT Arab countries that were invited: KSA, Jordan, Egypt and the UAE? Whose interests are they serving?

Imagine a meeting in the near future between Iran and Syria and Turkey to discuss the situatoion in Iraq, or perhaps in Southern Iraq, to which KSA will not be invited!

Well, give it a shot anyway. Syria is a historic “resident” in Lebanese politics, the rest…?? Overnight guests at most.

Desperate acts from Desperate People..in Desperate times. For them.

BTW, how much longer does Dubbya have left in office???

November 3rd, 2007, 6:10 am


SimoHurtta said:

South Korean President’s opinion

Roh says allegations of N.K.-Syria nuclear cooperation not backed by evidence

By Yoo Cheong-mo
SEOUL, Nov. 3 (Yonhap) — South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun said he has never seen evidence of nuclear cooperation between North Korea and Syria, denying U.S. media reports alleging that the communist North has helped Syria build nuclear facilities.

Roh asserted in an interview with Japan’s Asahi Shimbun, published on Saturday, that “uncertain and trifling matters” should not be obstacles to the ongoing international efforts to have North Korea dismantle its nuclear weapons program by the end of the year.

November 3rd, 2007, 7:48 am


t_desco said:

Some quick comments.

“It is inconceivable that the “Jihadists” of Nahr el-Bared were in any way sponsored by the Syrians.”

Yes and no. I also think that collaboration between the Dinniyeh group related elements in Fatah al-Islam and Syria is extremely unlikely, but the case isn’t so clear with the (ex-)PFLP-GC component. And then you have the (contradictory) testimonies of Ahmed Merhi and Abu Salim Taha.

Supporting such a group would not be rational for a religious minority government, but the nuclear reactor story has raised some doubts in this regard.

“(Rafik Hariri) also hanged three young men for the assassination of an Abash figure … much to the displeasure, again, of the Lebanese Islamic community.”

Interestingly, Faisal Akbar mentioned this after recanting his testimony.

Regarding the book, in my opinion, Rougier is way too uncritical of Fatah and Oslo.

BTW, the English version is more comprehensive and has a new final chapter.

November 3rd, 2007, 9:45 am


SimoHurtta said:

Aviation Week:
New Satellite Surveillance System Was Key Israeli Tool In Syria Raid

Syria’s internal politics might have contributed to the apparent success of the Sept. 6 mission. The target was so highly classified in Damascus that the military wasn’t briefed and, therefore, air defenses were unprepared, says an Israeli official.

Israeli and U.S. officials will not reveal operational details or even the actual target under threat of criminal prosecution. Political and military leaders in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem don’t want to humiliate or anger Syria by providing details of the attack. The desire to avoid any discussion of the event extended to an apology for violating Turkish airspace. Turkey found unmarked drop tanks inside its border with Syria that officials believe came from Israeli warplanes conducting the raid.

In addition to the military objective of destroying the target, the raid on Syria also had important international and domestic political overtones, notes one Israeli official. The goal was to send a strategic signal to the region about Israel’s willingness to act. Moreover, for the IAF, the mission was an important step. The armed forces are grappling with lessons learned from last year’s Lebanon war and a potential budget shift to the ground forces. As a result, the air arm wanted to signal its continued importance to national defense.

“Political and military leaders in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem don’t want to humiliate or anger Syria by providing details of the attack.”

Rather amusing, in the article military is providing details and undermining Syria. Politically it would have benefited enormously US’s and Israel’s one sided attempts keeping up a nuclear-free zone made the findings public. It is completely impossible to believe this “do not want humiliate and anger” nonsense. USA has clearly indicated its desire of a regime change in Syria and Iran. Now we are explained that Israel attacked militarily Syria, but doesn’t want to speak about that not to anger Syria. Come-on.

By the way what means in the article

“Israeli and U.S. officials will not reveal operational details or even the actual target under threat of criminal prosecution.”

Who is threatening with criminal prosecution and why?

November 3rd, 2007, 12:05 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

There is not much detail in the article, it only seems so to the untrained eye.

The threat of prosecution is by the US and Israeli authorities who do not want details to leak out.

November 3rd, 2007, 3:17 pm


IsraeliGuy said:

The real interesting point in the report is the following:

“Syria’s internal politics might have contributed to the apparent success of the Sept. 6 mission. The target was so highly classified in Damascus that the military wasn’t briefed and, therefore, air defenses were unprepared, says an Israeli official.”

November 3rd, 2007, 3:33 pm


norman said:

Syria slams US ‘interference’ in Lebanese politics

The Associated Press
Saturday, November 3, 2007

DAMASCUS, Syria: Syria on Saturday slammed what it said was U.S. meddling in the upcoming Lebanese presidential elections, accusing it of hindering dialogue between the Lebanese.

“The immoral and blunt U.S. interference in Lebanon’s internal affairs has been clearly demonstrated,” said an editorial in the state-run Tishrin daily, which reflects government thinking.

“Condoleezza Rice speaks about Lebanon as if it is an American state,” Tishrin said, referring to comments made by the U.S. secretary of state on her flight to Europe Thursday, in which she laid down strong conditions that she said the U.S. and Lebanon’s European backers demand in the upcoming election.

Rice said Lebanon’s next president must be committed to constitutional order, support U.N. Security Council resolutions protecting the country’s sovereignty and commit to seeing through a tribunal for the suspects in the 2005 killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Despite marathon discussions between pro-government and opposition leaders in Lebanon, the two groups have made no headway in electing a new president to prevent a power vacuum or the formation of two rival administrations.

With time running out, the election has become a showdown between Iran and Syria who back the opposition, and the United States and its European allies, who support the parliamentary majority and Prime Minister Fuad Saniora’s government. The U.S. accuses Syria and Iran of interfering in Lebanese affairs and backing attempts to topple Saniora.

Parliament is scheduled to make another attempt to elect a president on Nov. 12, but like the two previous attempts in September and October, the government and the opposition have been unable to reach a compromise ahead of the session. Failure to pick a leader to replace pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud, whose term expires Nov. 24, could throw the country into further political chaos.

The French and Syrian foreign ministers on Friday discussed Lebanon on the sidelines of a meeting on Iraq in Turkey. Syria’s Walid al-Moallem blamed the U.S. for hindering any agreement on a consensus president.

In comments to the pan-Arab Al Hayat daily published Saturday, al-Moallem blamed the United States. “The problem is not in Damascus but in Washington which opposes any compromise candidate and any dialogue between the Lebanese,” he said.



November 3rd, 2007, 4:51 pm



“The target was so highly classified in Damascus that the military wasn’t briefed and, therefore, air defenses were unprepared, says an Israeli official.”

The point here by the “Israeli official” was to explain why it was that a supposed nuclear site was completely undefended. Well, I can understand why an Israeli official would want to justify this surprising fact, if he wanted to insinuate that Israel really hit a nuclear site.

However, there are a lot more points lacking about that site than just the lack of anti-aircraft missiles. I commented on it a few days ago.

The Israelis, and the media, are being really slow in noticing what is quite obvious in the satellite image. When they figure out one point, an “Israeli official” comes up with a justification.

We’ll hear about the problem with the water channels next. There are quite a few more to come. But the problem of the water channels is the big one.

November 3rd, 2007, 5:13 pm


SimoHurtta said:

There is not much detail in the article, it only seems so to the untrained eye.

Well AIG, isn’t revealing the political reasons for the attack, the used attacking plane types, the fact that the air defence was not prepared, the use of advanced targeting pods, several items related to the present satellite and weapon systems and future plans etc details of both the attack and Israeli military secrets? Or are they only “paid” lies/disinformation with naturally are not under criminal prosecution?

The reason for the lack of air defence around the “nuclear reactor” can simply be explained = there was nothing worth for defending. Not because it was so “secret”, that every Google Earth analyst will wonder at once what is that big building there in middle of nowhere. If Israeli, US, Russian etc satellite experts did not check the building already years ago when it was build and check the movements around it, the investments to satellites and intelligence have been completely useless. Come-on AIG the “reactor” in that spot is a real beacon, not a hidden disguised “super secret”.

The last chapter especially the last sentence in the Aviation Week’s article is interesting. What if AIG the attack against Syria was unauthorized and made by some rebel elements in the “Air arm”? That would explain best why Israeli and US governments are so silent. And the need of threat of criminal prosecution not to reveal that embarrassing incident. Certainly revealing real evidence of the nuclear site would mean for USA and Israel that the world would forget the small Iraq “WMD mistake” and would believe better the claims about Iran. That would be a huge political victory for Bush and neocons. The big question why do not they use it.

November 3rd, 2007, 7:23 pm


ausamaa said:

This is from Elaph, the “independent” Saudi internet site:

Very sweet, the ARAB MINISTERS attending the meeting initiated by Rice and dedicated to discuss Lebanon asked -during the meeting- for a VOTE to invite Syria to the meeting, but by the time they “overwhelmingly” VOTED to invite Syria to the meeting about Lebabnon, the Syrian Forigen Minister was on his way to the airport as the story goes below!

Very nice, Rice did not invite Syria to attend the meeting with the Arab ministers, but she had the time to meet with the Syrian FM alone…!!!

Rice can talk to Syria, but the Rice tells the Arabs that they can not.

Did someone say HALF MEN once? Was he really wrong?!!!!!

لقاء في اسطنبول يرفض التدخل في انتخابات لبنان
GMT 17:30:00 2007 السبت 3 نوفمبر
أ. ف. ب.

اسطنبول: اعلن اللقاء الوزاري حول لبنان بين الولايات المتحدة وفرنسا ودول عربية على هامش مؤتمر موسع حول العراق في اسطنبول السبت ان “التدخل والترهيب في العملية الانتخابية في لبنان امر غير مقبول”.

واكد بيان مقتضب صدر في ختام اجتماع بدعوة من الطرف الاميركي ان “التدخل والترهيب في العملية الانتخابية امر غير مقبول. ان الدعم الدولي للبنان وشعبه قوي وغير قابل للتفاوض”.

وافاد البيان “لقد اجتمعنا لاعادة تأكيد رغبتنا في اجراء انتخابات رئاسية ناجحة في لبنان ونتوقع ان ينتخب لبنان رئيسا جديدا يجسد الاستقلال والسيادة واحترام القرارات الدولية”.

وتابع ان المجتمع الدولي موحد في دعم انتخابات رئاسية حرة ونزيهة ووفقا للدستور اللبناني (…) ونتطلع قدما الى الترحيب برئيس لبناني جديد سيعمل على تعزيز سيادة لبنان والامن والديموقراطية”.

وشارك في اللقاء وزيرة الخارجية الاميركية كوندوليزا رايس ونظرؤاها الفرنسي برنار كوشنير والسعودي الامير سعود الفيصل والمصري احمد ابو الغيط والاردني عبد الله الخطيب والاماراتي عبد الله بن زايد والامين العام لجامعة الدول العربية عمرو موسى، فيما لم تشارك سوريا في الاجتماع.

وكانت مصادر في الوفد الاميركي المرافق لرايس قالت ان واشنطن قررت عدم توجيه دعوة الى دمشق لحضور الاجتماع الوزاري. وقال دبلوماسي غربي رافضا ذكر اسمه ان “احد المشاركين تساءل لماذا لا نوجه دعوة الى المعلم لحضور الاجتماع؟ فطلب الوزراء العرب حينها التصويت على ذلك وجاءت النتيجة لصالح دعوته الى الاجتماع بغالبية كبيرة”.

لكن لدى الاتصال بالوفد السوري، تأكد للمجتمعين ان المعلم كان في طريقه الى المطار، وفقا للمصدر ذاته. وفي موازاة ذلك اعلن السفير الاميركي في بغداد راين كروكر ان رايس التقت نظيرها السوري وليد المعلم على هامش اجتماع اسطنبول الدولي حول الامن في العراق مضيفا ان النقاش في الاجتماع غير الرسمي تطرق الى الامن في العراق و”مواضيع اخرى” لم يحددها.

وبدأت المهلة الدستورية لانتخاب رئيس الجمهورية اللبنانية ومدتها شهران في 24 ايلول/سبتمبر. ويفترض ان يعقد المجلس النيابي جلسة لانتخاب الرئيس الاثنين 12 تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر بعدما ارجئت مرتين حتى الآن نتيجة الازمة السياسية الحادة.

وتشهد المؤسسات اللبنانية شللا منذ استقالة ستة وزراء مؤيدين لسوريا من الحكومة التي يرئسها فؤاد السنيورة في تشرين الثاني/نوفمبر 2006. كما يشهد لبنان سلسلة اغتيالات تستهدف شخصيات مناهضة لسوريا.

November 3rd, 2007, 7:49 pm


AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

You seem to have gone off the deep end. The “air” arm working without government approval? A more likely story is that the Syrians bombed it themselves to make Israel look bad.

Asad does not know how much proof Israel and the US are withholding about the nuclear site. That is why he is going to be extra careful and respectful in the coming months, in Lebanon and regarding Hamas. He knows that if he acts badly, pictures from inside the site will emerge and sink him.

November 4th, 2007, 5:13 am


t_desco said:


That should read “(ex-)Fatah al-Intifada component” instead of “(ex-)PFLP-GC component”, of course. Funny, I made exactly the same error on October 10th. Perhaps I should refrain from posting “quick comments”… 🙂

November 4th, 2007, 9:04 am


MSK said:

Dear T-Desco,

In your defense, “some” might argue that these days difference between Fatah al-Intifada and PFLP-GC is almost one of pot-ay-to vs. pot-ah-to …

Maybe your inner instincts are agreeing with that POV. 😉


November 4th, 2007, 10:13 am


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