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The Lost Spring: U.S. Policy in the Middle East and Catastrophes to Avoid Hardcover – March 18, 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“In 2005, in Future Jihad, Walid Phares predicted that Al Qaeda would expand from its base in Pakistan to create powerful franchises throughout the Middle East and North Africa. In The Coming Revolution of 2010, Phares predicted the Arab Spring--a full two years before it happened. Many commentators and experts dismissed Phares' predictions, only to later eat their words. With his new book, The Lost Spring, Phares describes how the Middle East is racing towards a fight to the finish between reformers and fundamentalists. Who will prevail? No one knows. But Phares has shown time and again that he's got the best crystal ball in the business.” ―K. T. McFarland, FOX News National Security Analyst, President Reagan's Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, and former member of Henry Kissinger's NSC Staff

“Dr Walid Phares' consistently accurate analysis and uncanny ability to predict events in the Middle East have made him the ‘go to' authority on terrorism, civil uprisings, and politics in the region. The Lost Spring offers a smarter alternative to address the chaos that has erupted from North Africa to the Arabian Peninsula. This is a must read for senior US policy makers--those who ignore his warnings do so at their own (and this country's) peril.” ―Ret. Colonel Rick Francona, CNN Military Expert, and Former US Air Force Intelligence Officer

“Dr. Walid Phares, who has been advising our transatlantic parliamentary group with members from the US Congress and the European Parliament since 2008, has developed a prescient analysis on the upheavals in the Middle East before and since the revolts. In his new book, The Lost Spring, a must read, Phares tells us how the West missed opportunities to partner with civil societies in their rise against Jihadists and other extremists. But he also shows us that by developing policies based on common human and democracy values, we can help suppressed minorities and moderate majorities to be our future partners across the Mediterranean.” ―Jaime Mayor Oreja, Member of the European Parliament, and deputy chairman of the EPP Majority Party

“Dr. Walid Phares' expert opinion is a leading prescient in-depth analysis on geopolitical changes in the Middle East. The interviews with Dr. Phares in Arab media in general and in Al Watan Alarabi --as his books--always foresee coming events which make his writings and statements truly authoritative for leaders in the region. As a new paradigm is setting in the Arab region, his latest book The Lost Spring cannot be timelier for the peoples of the region who are hoping for a new and more strategic US policy towards the rising challenges of the radicals in the Middle East.” ―Khaled Abu Zahr, Editor in chief of Pan Arab Al Watan Alarabi, Cairo

“Walid Phares has predicted the Arab Spring, has projected the rise of civil societies in the Middle East, and has also warned us about the Islamists' takeover and Iran's strategic expansion. But he has also accurately seen the comeback of the revolutionary democrats in Egypt and Tunisia and beyond. In his new masterfully written book The Lost Spring, Phares is telling us why the West lost a historic opportunity and what new policies are needed to avoid catastrophes and welcome a new Spring.” ―Paulo Casaca, Socialist Member of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2009 and President of the European Parliament delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly from 2005 to 2007

“Walid Phares is one of the leading geopolitical strategists in the world. His books, including Future Jihad and The Coming Revolution have helped many members of Congress and the US Government better understand the forthcoming national security threats. In his new book The Lost Spring, Phares exposes the mistakes of our foreign policies in the Middle East, from partnering with the Muslim Brotherhood to abandoning the Iranian youth. His book is a historical, yet a future strategic reading, suggesting alternatives to forthcoming disasters in the region. A must read.” ―Congresswoman Sue Myrick, Chair subcommittee on Intelligence 2011-2013, Co-Chair Anti-Terrorism Caucus, US House of Representatives, 2007-2013

About the Author

Dr. Walid Phares is a world-renowned terrorism and Middle East expert and serves as an advisor to Congress and to members of the European Parliament. He is the Co-Secretary General of the Transatlantic Parliamentary Group on Counter Terrorism and is a frequent guest on US and Arab media. Phares was an MSNBC Terrorism analyst since 2003 and has been a Fox News Middle East expert since 2007. His columns have appeared in many publications including The Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Le Figaro. He has been projecting the next stages of the upheavals seen since the start of the revolts in 2011.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (March 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1137279036
  • ISBN-13: 978-1137279033
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence in the Obama Administration:
"The Muslim Brotherhood consists of a loose coalition of secular groups."

The Muslim Brotherhood motto:
"Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our Leader. The Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allalh is our highest hope. Allahu Akbar!"

Under the Obama Administration supporting liberal democrats and women in Islamic countries is deemed "meddling." Professor Phares describes how the Arab Spring became the Islamic Winter, as jihadis dedicated to overthrowing democracy sought and received the backing of the American foreign policy establishment. He shows point by damning point how America has willfully enabled the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been classified as a terrorist organization by Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and the country where it was founded, Egypt.

In fact, as Professor points out it was in Egypt where the Muslim Brotherhood showed its stripes, dismantling the Egyptian democratic insituitions by which they came to power. Why should it be so difficult for intelligence professionals to understand that what happened in Egypt is exactly what will happen in the rest of the world, including America, if we let Islamists stifle debate with spurious claims of "Islamophobia."

In fact now, four and a half years after Mohamed Bouazizi's self-immolation in Tunisia touched off the Arab Spring, democracy does not exist in any of the countries which were part of those misnamed upheavals. America has consistently failed to anticipate any of the major events and it has misinterpreted them once they have occured.
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Format: Hardcover
Phares has the answer for us whose heads are still spinning from the “Arab Spring” of 2011 and asking: What just happened?
In this well-reasoned and in-depth analysis, the author recaps the historical events and then goes on to discuss America’s failure to provide aid and support to those who were battling oppression and how that has led and is probably still leading to a high-jacking of their successes by Jihadists. He goes on to suggest future courses of action.
Phares describes the Arab Spring as a three way tug of war with authoritarian regimes on one end, Jihadists on another, and those striving for human rights and liberties on the third. When, as in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, the mainly young and well educated liberals succeeded, the better coordinated Jihadists simply shoved them aside and took over although in all three of those countries the battle is not over.
Some American ultraconservatives might be inclined to jump to the conclusion that our lack of a proper response was due to an Islamic leaning Obama administration but Phares does not make it an ad hominem argument. He does point out in very specific terms that Islamic lobbying efforts have been intensive and effective in shaping our policies in both the Executive and the Legislative branches of government as well as the media. Phares was an advisor to Mitt Romney during his unsuccessful run for the Presidency but makes it clear in the totality of the book that the issue is not an internal American political issue but a much broader moral issue. But Phares does seem to take great pains to avoid the religious issues of not only Judaic-Christian versus Islam but Sunni versus Shia as well.
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Partitioned communities is an idea whose time has come. In Lost Spring, Walid Phares shows partitions are timely by exposing non-democratic rule of minorities by Islamist governments, by asking the West to support civil societies while they find ways to implement local democracy for dissenters, and by clear frustration with Western policy that repeatedly supports winner take all elected governments despite discrimination against groups they govern. Those are his themes, backed by outstanding analysis.

Phares is unmatched as diagnostician of forces fighting dictators in the Middle East: civil society, Sunni Islamists, and Shia Khomeinists. After ousting a dictator, none of those groups wants to be ruled by any of the others. Phares is best qualified for telling stories of non-community, because he grew up in Lebanon's fragile partitioned community, moving West after occupation by Syria decades ago. He knows imposed laws don't work if disobeyed by groups who don't want to live under them. He knows our successful democracies evolve laws which groups want to live under.

I think it is very much to the credit of Phares that he does NOT suggest to civil societies how they should divide into self-governing groups. Instead, Lost Spring focuses on the conflicts, nation by nation, and on Western policy, nation by nation. It describes problems raised by specific tribes and religions in troubled nations, but Phares doesn't suggest solutions to their non-community. He would rather have the West support civil societies while they evolve their own democratic governments out of those tribes and religions.
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