Children of Jihad: A Young American's Travels Among the Youth of the Middle East

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Penguin, Oct 25, 2007 - Social Science - 288 pages
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Defying foreign government orders and interviewing terrorists face to face, a young American tours hostile lands to learn about Middle Eastern youth? and uncovers a subculture that defies every stereotype.

In 2004, Jared Cohen embarked on the first of a series of incredible journeys to the Middle East in an effort to understand the spread of radical Islamist violence among Muslim youth. The result is Children of Jihad, a portrait of paradox that probes much deeper than any journalist or pundit ever could.

Chosen as one of Kirkus Review?s Best Books of 2007, Cohen?s account begins in Lebanon, where he interviews Hezbollah members at, of all places, a McDonald?s. In Iran, he defies government threats and sneaks into underground parties, where bootleg liquor, Western music, and the Internet are all easy to access. His risky itinerary also takes him to a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon, borderlands in Syria, the insurgency hotbed of Mosul, and other front-line locales. At each turn, he observes a culture at an uncanny crossroads. Gripping and daring, Children of Jihad shows us the future through the eyes of those who are shaping it.
 

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Children of Jihad: a young American's travels among the youth of the Middle East

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Rather than globetrotting for pleasure like many post-collegiate backpackers, Cohen charms his way through Middle Eastern countries typically thought of as unfriendly to the West. This type of travel ... Read full review

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Terrorism: Reality of Invisible Balance of Power
Naveed Ahmed
In his book, Invisible Balance of Power, published in 2005, Sajjad Shaukat has taken present ‘different war’ as an interaction of
‘state terrorism’ led by the United States and the ‘group terrorism’ by the Al Qaeda or Islamic militants. A number of authors have written books about the 9/11 tragedy, but ground realities developed in accordance with the book. After seeing the main title, some people think that the book is against the US-led western allies, but without any prejudice, he has discussed both the sovereign and non-sovereign entities on parallel lines in this research-based book. On the one hand, he pointed out Al Qaeda’s ambush attacks, targeted killings, beheadings etc., while on the other, he mentioned special operations by the US forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and CIA-tortures cells in various small countries. In this regard, missile strikes by the drones on Pakistan’s tribal areas and elsewhere amounts to state terrorism, which are being responded by the internal backlash. Shaukat proves that both the warring parties kill innocent civilians through ruthless terror.
Giving references of the power-theorists like Machiavelli, Morgentahu, Kissinger etc., Shaukat has written that power factor or use of force has failed in this different war which took origin from the privileged and unprivileged status quo.
Shaukat introduced new ideas about the issues relating to the Islamic ideology, Jihad, Western World, liberalism, power diplomacy on the Third World by the US-led major countries, globalization, harsh conditions by the IMF and World Bank, causes of suicide attacks etc.
Author’s future observations like a prolonged war, failure of military paradigm by the state actors, increase in US cost of war, more terrorism, failure of NATO in Afghanistan, plane plot in UK, the defeat of Israel in 2006 war by the Lebanon-based Hezbollah, international financial crisis, warlike situation between America and Iran, Syria and Israel including other developments like Israeli attacks on Palestinians, similar forms of state terrorism in the Indian-held Kashmir, occupation of Iraq’s areas by the Jihadists-ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) proved correct.
Indicating the failure of coercive diplomacy, the author also predicted that that in case of a protracted war with the insurgents, the US bargaining leverage would reduce on small countries. It happens so, as North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Cuba and Turkey have rejected American undue pressure on a number of issues and matters. Besides, Russia and China have stood together to cope with the US-dominated world order, and now, strongly favour a multi-polar world. America’s decision not to attack Syria in 2013 due to Moscow’s stand, and Russian control of Crimea might be cited as example.
Shaukat also gave positive suggestions to the US, but President Obama did not act upon. Therefore, war on terror has resulted into more implications, giving a blow to the larger economies of the US and other developed nations.
Emphasizing the solution of key disputes like Kashmir and Palestine which remains breeding grounds of terrorism, the book suggests that realism (power factor) must be reconciled with idealism, which is essential for world peace and geo-political interests of the US-led developed countries and those of the small countries also by reforming the system of the UN. Shaukat warns that otherwise, “Invisible Balance of Power” will culminate into “clash of civilizations.”
It is due to the present scenario of terrorism—which already pointed out by the author that the publisher reprinted the book after nine years.
Author: Sajjad Shaukat -ISBN, 9690019589
Published by: Ferozsons, 60 Shahrah-i-Quaid-i-Azam, Lahore, Pakistan
Publisher’s Email: support@ferozsons.com.pk
www.@ferozsons.com.pk
 

Selected pages

Contents

PROLOGUE
DESTINATION IRAN
REMOVING THE SHACKLES
DEMOCRACY AFTER DARK
NUCLEAR PRIDE
DEATH TO AMERICA
THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM
THE ALLNIGHT PARTY OF GOD
STRUGGLING FOR DIGNITY
BABIES IN THE BAATH PARTY
THE ROAD TO MESOPOTAMIA
IRAQIS WHO LIKE
THE YOUTH PARTY
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
AUTHORS NOTE
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

After witnessing the awful aftermath of decades of sectarian aggression and radical Islamist violence, Jared Cohen decided that he must go to the Middle East to better understand the phenomenon. After extensively studying Arabic and the history of the Middle East, he journeyed into the region and reached out to the youth in the area, putting himself in danger in order to understand their culture and views on government, Israel, and America. Children of Jihad is Cohen’s account of his travels and interviews with the people he met.
 
In September 2006, he was named the youngest member to the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff, where he focused on counter-terrorism, counter-radicalization, and Middle East/North Africa issues. Prior to his work at the State Department, Cohen received his BA from Stanford University and continued his education at the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. Currently, he is the director of Google Ideas and is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He also serves as a member of the National Counterterrorism Center’s Director’s Advisory Board.
 
Jared Cohen is also the author of One Hundred Days of Silence and most recently co-authored The New Digital Age, with Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google.

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