Zaki Chehab is one of the Arab world's leading journalists. He is political editor of the London-based "Al Hayat" and of the Arabic TV channel LBC. For over 25 years he has covered Middle Eastern conflicts for local and Western media, and has contributed to the "Guardian", CNN, Channel 4 and the BBC. He was the first journalist to broadcast interviews with the Iraqi resistance.
INSIDE THE INSURGENCY
The battle for Iraq is the most misunderstood struggle of our times. Very few observers are able to travel outside the American-controlled Green Zone, let alone meet members of the resistance. Internationally renowned Arab journalist Zaki Chehab, however, is different. Having grown up in a refugee camp in Lebanon, he knows how to talk the language of people who consider themselves under foreign occupation. As a result, he has been able to penetrate the inner structures of Saddam loyalists and Islamist radicals as well as reach out to ordinary people struggling to get by. Phenomenally well-connected, Chehab is the only journalist to have interviewed both the Leadership and the rank and file of the resistance. Now, for the first time, we are able to see an authoritative picture of the Iraqi insurgency in all its complexity, ferocity and passion.
Reading the graffiti on what the locals call ‘RPG-J Alley’ in Tikrit, sitting down with the leaders of the most secret Islamic militias operating out of Kurdistan, and breaking out after curfew to traipse across tomato fields with idealistic young fighters in Ramadi, Chehab reveals the very different characters, motivations and strategies of the groups which make up the insurgency. He offers the first insider account of developments which left the on-looking world confused: why the rebels’ tactics shifted from conventional guerilla warfare to suicide bombing, why the Najaf uprising subsided so quickly, and how the insurgency spread to Kurdistan. He examines the regional networks of arms, soldiers and ideology feeding into Iraq, revealing some surprising links. Embedded with them for weeks on end, Chehab is able to show how the resistance fighters really view the post-Saddam regime, George W Bush and Al Qaeda. As well connected in diplomatic circles as he is amongst the footsoldiers of Fallujah, Chehab also reveals facets of the occupiers’ strategy never discussed in the West. Iraq Ablaze is the book that everyone who wants to understand Iraq today, and where it is heading, has been waiting for. This is the Middle East’s frontline as it has never been seen before.
Publisher: I.B. TAURIS
Subtitle: INSIDE THE INSURGENCY
Author: ZAKI CHEHAB