Eric Walberg’s third book on geopolitical strategy focuses on the Middle East and the global
    ramifications of the multiple state destruction resulting from Western aggression.  It addresses
    these questions:

    What is left of the historic Middle East upheavals of 1979 (Afghanistan, Iran) and 2011 (the
    Arab Spring)?
    How does 9/11 fit into the equation of Islamic resistance?
    Is al-Qaeda’s long term project still on track?
    What are the chances that ISIS can prevail in Iraq and Syria? Are they and likeminded
    jihadists dupes of imperialism or legitimate resistance movements?

    The imperial strategy of manipulating Muslims to promote imperial ends is at least two centuries
    old. Emerging most notably in the British use of Arabs to fracture the Ottoman Empire, it led to  
    the creation of ‘Islamic states’ (Saudi Arabia and Pakistan) allied with the West; ongoing
    cooperation between western security forces and Islamists opposed to the atheism of socialist
    regimes; and the financing and training of jihadists.

    But the largely nonviolent 1979 Iranian revolution, inspired by antipathy towards the neocolonial
    regime and a deep religious faith, was carried out in the name of Islam and had echoes in the
    Sunni world. That same year, it prompted Saudi rebels to occupy the Kaaba in a desperate
    attempt to spark revolution, Syrian Islamists to rise against their secular dictator Hafez al-Assad
    in 1980, and future al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri to conspire to assassinate Egyptian
    president Sadat in 1981.

    But these uprisings were crushed, and the Sunni world remained mired in its neocolonial
    purgatory, defeated by empire’s machinations and falling prey to Saudi instigations against Shia

    Sunni jihadists’ refusal to see through and foil the empire’s strategies to co-opt their efforts
    doomed al-Qaeda and the Taliban’s battle with the empire from the start, and dooms the project
    to resist empire in post-war Afghanistan and Iraq today.

    Part I addresses the colonial legacy, the meaning of jihad, and the parallel movements among
    Sunni and Shia to confront imperialism

    Part II considers the main figures among the ˜neo-Wahhabi" movement: Azzam, Bin Laden, and
    Zawahiri. The justification of indiscriminate violence is questioned, as is their legacy. It then
    turns to the movements to re-establish the Caliphate, the Color Revolutions and the Arab Spring,
    and the experience of key Muslim-majority countries in the past two decades (Turkey,
    Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Iran).

    It then sums up the state of the ummah in the 21st century and prospects for future Islamic
    resistance to imperialism.

    Some of the themes it addresses include:

  • The Islamic deen, constraining the power of money and denying the centrality of economics,
    asserting Allah as all powerful and the Quran as the guide to social values based on justice,
    equity and respect, whether as the guiding force of resistance or of ultimate social and spiritual

  • Islam’s uniqueness (its stubborn anti-imperialism, its resilience in the face of color revolutions
    and attempts to recruit spies)

  • The Muslim Brotherhoods’, Hamas’, and Hizbullah’s program for reuniting Muslims

  • An assessment of Egyptian and Iranian experience in implementing an Islamic agenda

  • Different approaches to renewing the Caliphate

  • Western/European anarchist terrorism as an influence on al-Qaeda, compared to the effort by
    ISIS to capture, hold and govern territory

  • Recognition of Western/Zionist interference in the region and their efforts to use, abuse and
    misrepresent Islamic movements.  

  • The need for reconciliation of Muslims, Christians and Jews based on morality and ethics implicit
    in their religions, and the need for all anti-imperialists to work together



    Introduction: The logic of resistance
           Great Games I & II
           Great Game III – resistance and reform
                   Saudi/ Pakistani ‘Islamic states’ – terrorism as blowback

    Part I: Towards a theory of political Islam

    1  The Way Forward: Political Spirituality and Jihad

    2  Sunni Failure in Egypt

    3  Shia Success in Iran
           Ayatollah Khomeini:
                               Vilayat-e faqih, peaceful revolution, Hajj, Palestine
           Comparing Iranian and Egyptian experience in context

    4  Uniting the Ummah
           Re-assessing strategy based on Islamic principles

    Part II: The Expanding Parameters of Political Islam

    5  From Salafi to Kharijite
           Salafis’ personal integrity
           Kharijite revival 1970s
           Internationalizing jihad
           Retail Terrorism (suicide bombers, hijackers, kidnappers)

    6  Azzam: Violence Against Invaders

    7  Bin Laden: Violence in the Imperial Center
           Early life
           From Sudan to Afghanistan
           Reaching America
           Fatwas and fealty to Sheikh Omar

    8  Zawahiri: Violence Against Client Regimes
           Early life
           Assassinations as a catalyst  
           From Faraj to ‘anything goes’
    Bin Laden as ‘moderate’

    9  Many al-Qaedas: Azzam, Bin Laden and Zawahiri’s Legacy
    Both al-Qaeda and the US miscalculate
    New theorists
    Islamists confront jihadists

    10  Terrorism: 9/11 and After
           Who dunnit?
           Saudi-Pakistani ‘conspiracy’
           US plans: LHOP?
           Post-9/11 terrorism
           US chicken and jihadist egg

    Appendix  Al-Qaeda spin-offs

    11  Perils of Cooperation and Implementation
    Saudi Arabia/ Gulf states

    12  Perils of Cooperation and Implementation
    Afghanistan/ Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Tunisia, Morocco,
    Sudan, Libya
    Egypt (Coups: benign, postmodern, modern)

    13  Return of the Caliphate
    A rump caliphate
    Rump caliphate II
    From many into one?
    Color Revolutions and the Arab Spring

    14  The Ummah in the 21st Century
           Striving for a new modernity
           Muslim-Christian-Jewish understanding
           Postmaterialism, neo-secularism, New Age Islam


/ Eric Walberg

ISBN: 978-0-9860731-8-2
$23.95  2015   299 pp.

E-book Order: $16.00
ISBN: 978-0-9860769-8-5
Eric with protesters in Tahrir Square at the
statue of General Abdul Munim Riad who
died in the War of Attrition 1967--1970 (
photo :
Mahmoud Shaban)

Canadian Eric Walberg is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East,
Central Asia and Russia. A graduate of University of Toronto and Cambridge in economics, he
has been writing on East-West relations since the 1980s. He has lived in both the Soviet Union
and Russia, and then Uzbekistan, as a UN adviser, writer, translator and lecturer. Presently a
writer for the foremost Cairo newspaper,
Al Ahram, he is also a regular contributor to
Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Al-Jazeerah and Turkish Weekly, and is a
commentator on Voice of the Cape radio. His articles appear in Russian, German, Spanish
and Arabic and are accessible at his website Walberg was a moderator and
speaker at the Leaders for Change Summit in Istanbul in
2011. His book,
Postmodern Imperialism, is published in Chinese, Turkish and Russian.  
Back cover


    "A brilliant contemporary analysis of the complex issues often deliberately ignored by the
    corporate-run mainstream news media. Walberg's assessment is meaningful to articulate a new
    approach to the problems for which the Muslim Ummah (people) should have proactive vision to
    facilitate change and adaptability to the future."

    Professor Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD.
    Author, Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking

    Walberg's book is a thorough education on the inner workings of Islam throughout history, especially in
    relation to its reaction against Western imperialism and interventionism in the Middle East. On a note of
    hope, he offers a detailed analysis of how Islam can regain the Ummah (nation, community) and in the final
    chapter examines the Caliphate which is that form of government where the nation's leader is “considered a
    political and religious successor to the prophet Muhammad” (7). Walberg's book is essential reading for
    anyone who wants to go beyond the mainstream pablum of Western propaganda in order to better
    understand Islamic history, politics, and the future of the Middle East.

    Richard Wilcox,