The Road to Fatima Gate: The Beirut Spring, the Rise of Hezbollah, and the Iranian War Against Israel

By Michael J. Totten

the line to Fatima Gate is a first-person narrative account of revolution, terrorism, and battle in the course of history's violent go back to Lebanon after fifteen years of quiet. Michael J. Totten's model of occasions in a single of the main unstable nations within the world's so much unstable area is one half struggle correspondence, one half memoir, and one half street movie.

He units up camp in a tent urban inbuilt downtown Beirut via anti-Syrian dissidents, is bullied and menaced through Hezbollah's supposedly pleasant "media family members" division, crouches less than fireplace at the Lebanese-Israeli border through the six-week warfare in 2006, witnesses an Israeli flooring invasion from in the back of a line of Merkava tanks, sneaks into Hezbollah's post-war rubblescape with no authorization, and is attacked in Beirut through militiamen who implement obedience to the "resistance" on the aspect of a gun.

From the "Cedar Revolution" that ousted the occupying Syrian army regime in 2005, to the devastating battle among Israel and Hezbollah in 2006, and to Hezbollah's slow-motion yet violent attack on Lebanon's elected executive and capital, Totten's account is either own and entire. He simplifies the bewildering complexity of the center East, has entry to significant neighborhood avid gamers in addition to to the guy in the street, and individually witnesses lots of the occasions he describes. The street to Fatima Gate will be fundamental interpreting for a person attracted to the center East, Iran's expansionist international coverage, the Arab-Israeli clash, uneven battle, and terrorism within the aftermath of September 11.

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He led us to a desk at a safety checkpoint close to the doorway to the storage. 4 safeguard brokers and sat us down in chairs. stood in the back of us. sat contrary us on the desk. fats guy attempted to examine the images on Dan’s digicam yet had hassle realizing how. This man could have gave the look of a bully even in a photo. He had pasty white pores and skin, a trimmed beard, small black eyes, and brief cropped hair. A permafrown rippled throughout his brow. He wore a skinny blue button-up blouse, the sort you'll locate at a clearance sale at a Walmart. “What did I do? ” Dan acknowledged. “You won't converse until you're spoken to,” fats guy stated. “We will behavior our research. after we entire our research, we'll let you know what you want to do. ” Dan and that i checked out one another. “What we have to do? ” I stated. “What you want to do,” fats guy stated. “Give me your passport,” he stated to Dan. Dan reluctantly passed it over. fats man’s older bespectacled sidekick copied Dan’s passport and press identity details right into a laptop via hand. I fished my mobile phone out of my pocket. once more, it was once time to name Hussein Naboulsi. “Do no longer name anyone! ” fats guy acknowledged. It used to be little need besides. We have been nonetheless within the parking storage, and my cellphone couldn’t choose up a sign. Dan and that i sat in silence whereas the protection brokers darkly mentioned our state of affairs, no matter what it was once, between themselves in Arabic. fats guy boiled as he did not determine the best way to function Dan’s digicam. i assumed approximately grabbing Dan and his digicam and creating a run for the go out. within was once Hezbollah’s mini police country. outdoor was once unfastened Lebanon. yet unstated threats of violence have been slightly hid underneath their swaggering postures. I knew they'd weapons, even if I couldn’t see them. Being detained by means of Lebanon’s get together of God was once no longer precisely like being detained through the Republican or Democratic events within the usa. “Who are you! ” fats guy bellowed as he squinted at Dan’s passport. “Daniel _____,” Dan stated. “Where do you return from! ” He barked his questions the best way drill sergeants supply orders. “The United States,” Dan stated, in actual fact frustrated. evidently, he was once from the us. fats guy was once having a look correct at Dan’s passport. “What is your first identify! ” Dan sighed. “Daniel,” he acknowledged. “What is your loved ones identify! Is your loved ones identify Isaac? ” ultimately we have been setting out to brass tacks. Dan hadn’t taken photographs of whatever delicate. Hezbollah had fingered him as a Jew due to his identify. They knew our names sooner than they allow us to in. possibly that explains why they virtually didn't allow us to in. “Isaac is my heart name,” Dan acknowledged. “My final identify is _____. ” “What is your faith! ” This was once no longer an research. It used to be an inquisition. “Christianity,” Dan acknowledged, as if it may were noticeable. “Are you certain! ” fats guy demanded. “Yes, I’m sure,” Dan stated nervously. “I’m Protestant. ” “Is this your first time in Lebanon! ” “Yes,” Dan acknowledged. “This is my first time in Lebanon. ” “Have you ever been right here prior to! ” Like while? and the way? As a soldier in the course of the Israeli profession?

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