Walid Phares

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Walid Phares
Native name وليد فارس
Born (1957-12-24) December 24, 1957 (age 58)
Beirut, Lebanon
Residence United States
Nationality American of Lebanese Origin
Religion Maronite
Website www.walidphares.com

Walid Phares (Arabic: وليد فارسIPA: [waˈliːd ˈfaːres]) is an American scholar of Lebanese origins. He is a professor at National Defense University in Washington, D.C. and a commentator on global terrorism and Middle Eastern affairs.

Phares has testified before committees of the U.S. State, Justice, Defense and Homeland Security, the United States Congress, the European Parliament, and the United Nations Security Council. Since 2007, he has served as an expert on terrorism and the Middle East for Fox News since 2007 and was a terrorism expert for NBC from 2003 to 2006. He is an expert for Wikistrat.[1]

Biography[edit]

Phares is an American citizen and a Christian Maronite of Lebanese origin. He was born on December 24, 1957, grew up in Beirut, and emigrated to the United States in 1990. He holds undergraduate degrees in law, political science, and sociology from Saint Joseph University and the Lebanese University in Beirut. Following his undergraduate studies, Phares practiced law in Beirut for a period of time, then went on to obtain a master's degree in international law from the Université de Lyon in France and a PhD in international relations and strategic studies from the University of Miami.[citation needed]

Phares taught at the Department of International Relations at Florida International University (FIU) in 1992 and was a visiting professor of comparative politics at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Palm Beach County from 1993 to 1994. He was hired as a full-time professor of Middle East studies and international relations in the Department of Political Science at FAU in 1995.[citation needed] While at FAU, Phares sponsored several student organizations focused on human rights, including Haiti Watch, Human Rights Organization, the Latin American Student Association, and the Society for the Study of the Middle East.[citation needed] In 1995 he launched the Florida Society for Middle East Studies (FMES), the second-largest of its kind in the US.[citation needed]

Phares is a visiting fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy in Brussels. In 2008 he became Coordinator of the Trans-Atlantic Parliamentary Group on Counter Jihadi-Terrorism.[2]

Phares is an expert on Maronite history and affairs. He has served as secretary general of the World Maronite Union,[3] and secretary general of the World Lebanese Cultural Union.[4][5]

As an author[edit]

Since 1979 and over three decades, Phares published fourteen books in English, French, Arabic, some translated into Spanish, Russian and Serbo-Croat. His first book al Taadudiyya التعدُّدية (Pluralism) was described by the US Congress Arab Area specialist in 1996 to be “a precursor to Samuel Huntington paradigm,” published in an article in 1993, and as a book in 1996. Phares’ publishing history can be divided in three eras: The 1980s, starting in 1979, the 1990s, and the post 9/11 era.

The 1980s

The Arabic books and essays of the 1980s included “Hiwar Dimucrati” حوار دمقراطي (Democratic Dialogue 1980), al Fikr al Masihi al Demucrati الفكر المسيحي الدمقراطي (Christian Democratic Thought 1981), as well as several short essays some under his name, some under a pseudonym. In 1987 he published “Abaad al Thawra al Khumainiya al Islamiya al Iraniya” أبعاد الثورة الخمينية الإسلامية اليرانية (The dimensions of the Khomeinist Islamic Revolution of Iran). In 1981, Phares published a history essay initially in French under the title “Treize Siècles de Lutte,” which was translated into English in 1982 as “Thirteen Centuries of Struggle,” and in 1983 in Spanish as “Trece Siglos de lucha.” During the 1980s, Phares published a large number of Op Eds and articles in Arabic and French in dailies in the Middle East including al Nahar النهار, al Ahrar الاحرار, al Amal الامل , al Massira المسيرة, Le Reveil, etc. as well as in publications in France and Switzerland. He published academic articles in Panorama: Journal of Geopolitics

The 1990s

In the 1990s Phares published a series of academic essays at the IRP Press of the University of Miami, titled as “A History of the Middle East” in 1993, “Ethnic Conflict in the Middle East” in 1994, and “The Middle East under Radical Islam” in 1994. In 1995, Phares published his first academic book in the United States with Lynne Rienners Publisher Lebanese Christian Nationalism: Rise and Fall of an Ethnic Resistance. He published several Op Eds in English including in the Lebanese American Journal, Beirut Times, the Jerusalem Post, and “Le Devoir” of Canada.

He published numerous journal articles such as “The Syrian-Iran axis” in Global Affairs: American Journal of Geopolitics in 1991; “Sudan’s Battle for Public Opinion” and “Middle East Minorities” in the Middle East Quarterly; and a variety of other articles published in The Journal of Middle East and South Asian Affairs as well as magazines . He also authored several studies including “An Alternative Policy for South Lebanon” in 1998.

Post 9/11

As of 2001, author Walid Phares published his largest number of books and articles starting with the Foreign Policy journal’s best top ten for 2006, Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies against America (Palgrave) which was published in November of 2005. In 2006, another version was published under the title “Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies against the West” (Palgrave). Future Jihad was published in Spain under the title of “La Futura Yihad” by Center FAES, Madrid. Also a Serbo-Croat version was published in Belgrade in 2007. In 2007, Phares published The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy (Palgrave). It was followed in 2009 with The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad (Palgrave McMillan).

The most noted book in the decade was the one that predicted the Arab Spring, titled The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East published by Simon & Schuster Editions in New York in 2010, before the Arab upheavals of 2011. In September 2011, a Russian version of Coming Revolution was published in Moscow by Cosmos publishing house. In 2013, Phares published his first book in France “Du Printemps Arabe a l’Automne Islamiste” at Hugo, Paris. His last comprehensive book was The Lost Spring: US Policy in the Middle East at (Palgrave) 2014. Phares published many essays and studies between 2001 and 2015 in English, including “The Iranian Global Threat” in 2015 on Amazon.

In addition to books and essays, Phares authored numerous op-eds in The Washington Times; The Wall Street Journal; The Philadelphia Inquirer; The Dallas Tribune; The Atlanta Constitution; The New York Post; the Chicago Sun; The Boston Herald; the San Francisco Chronicle; the Seattle Times;, the Oregon Times; The National Review; American Thinker; Cutting Edge News; Family Security Matters; Fox News; L’ Orient Le Jour; 'Le Figaro; El Pais, and many more.

Academic work[edit]

Phares was a visiting lecturer on the history of the Middle East and Lebanon at Saint Joseph University, Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik, and the Lebanese University from 1979 to 1989.[citation needed]

From 1993 to 2005, Phares taught at the Department of Political Science at Florida Atlantic University.[citation needed] He has been a senior lecturer at the Lifelong Learning Society since 1994. His courses include Middle East Politics, Political History, Ethnic and Religious Conflict, and International Terrorism. He has lectured throughout North America and Europe.[citation needed]

Since 2008, Phares has taught global strategies at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.[citation needed]. He lectures since 2008 at the Intelligence University in Washington DC, at the CI Center in Virginia, and the David Morgan Academy in Washington DC. He teaches at BAUI University in Washington, D.C.

Phares is the president of the Global Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., a think tank dedicated to the study of international relations, particularly between the US and the Greater Middle East

Although Phares is often described as a scholar on terrorism, Stanford University terrorism academic Martha Crenshaw stated that Phares was "not in the mainstream as an academic".[6] Crencshaw statement, made as part of the smear Phares against Phares upon his appointment by a Presidential candidate as an advisor in 2011, is not grounded on research and contradicts the widely accepted expertise by Phares in the US Congress, European Parliament and at the UN Security Council, as well as by several US agencies and NGOs.

Political activism in Lebanon[edit]

Soon after finishing his graduate degree in Public Law, Phares joined in 1981 the "MECHRIC Committee", a federation of Middle Eastern Christian NGOs.[citation needed] In 1984, Phares adhered to a small political party of center-left, the "Social Democratic Christian Union" – Union Sociale Démocratique Chrétienne (USDC).[7][not in citation given]

In 1986, he represented the USDC in the political council of the Lebanese Forces, the umbrella organization for the Christian Resistance parties and independent personalities during the Lebanese civil war.[citation needed] He served as the head of External and Diaspora affairs in the Lebanese Forces during the years 1986 and 1987. In 1988 Phares revamped the USDC and was elected as Secretary General for the new Social Democratic Christian Party (PSDC).[citation needed] His attempts to democratize the Lebanese Forces coalition by demanding its leaders to go through a transparent electoral process put him on a collision course with the ruling warlords and led him to resign from the political council of the Lebanese Forces in March 1989.[citation needed]

However a so-called investigation by Adam Serwer Mother Jones uncovered claims that Phares' ties to the Lebanese Forces extended back further, and described him as one of the movement's key ideologues, and a mentor to one of its most important leaders, Samir Geagea. A claim that has no sources as Phares was a member of a political council representing his Party and not an advisor to Geagea. Serwer claimed that Régina Sneifer, a former member of the Lebanese Forces, claimed that she attended lectures where Phares advocated Lebanese Christians establishing their own state modeled on Israel.[8] Mother Jones' Adam Serwer never provided evidence of Sneifer's hearsay on Phares, neither tapes or written sources. No documents of any sorts were provided. The Mother Jones article was rebutted by several articles debunking it as a hack job by supporters of the Iranian regime and Muslim Brotherhood lobbies. One article in the National Review, "Jihad against Walid Phares" authored by Mario Loyola exposed the various claims made by Adam Serwer of the Mother Jones, mainly that his sources are connected to Hezbollah in Lebanon, such as Regina Sneifer being a personal enemy of the Lebanese Forces and a supporter of General Michel Aoun, ally to Hezbollah. He subsequently restated this in a policy paper published in 1999 by the Ariel Center for Policy Research, an Israeli think-tank, where he supported the creation "of an independent, democratic, self sufficient, Christian Lebanese entity, in alliance with Israel" in the area of southern Lebanon then occupied by Israel and the South Lebanon Army.[9] In reality Phares argued at the UN that upon the withdrawal of Israel the local population should be enabled to defend itself, with all its communities, against Hezbollah an entity on US, Saudi, UAE, Bahrain terror lists.

He sought to promote a pluralist and federalist system in Lebanon as the solution to the sectarian violence. His ideas on the matter are best exposed in his first publication, Pluralism in Lebanon.[10]

To this end, Phares remains an adamant supporter for dialogue with liberal Muslims [clarification needed] as he argued in his book "The Lost Spring" published in March 2014 while rejecting religious radicalization.[11] However he has claimed that some Muslims in the United States are secretly plotting to impose sharia law on American society.[12] The Daily Beast piece was an attack on Phares during the Presidential election campaign as The Daily beast opposed Romney. Phares has never made any statement on "Sharia Law and Muslims in the US." Not one evidence cited

Phares was appointed as foreign policy adviser to Mitt Romney for his 2012 presidential campaign.[12] His appointment was met with criticism from the Council on American–Islamic Relations, which described him as “an associate to war crimes” (due to his ties to the Lebanese Forces) and a “conspiracy theorist”.[12] The appointment also provoked negative reactions from Islamic studies academics Ebrahim Moosa and Omid Safi,[12] however both scholars were described as militant Islamists by several pieces, including "Walid Phares vs the Middle East Studies" as well as the Center for a New American Security's Andrew Exum, who said that Phares was "widely viewed as an extremist".[6] Exum and the fall 2011 attackers against Phares were part of a coordinated smear campaign against Phares because of his appointment as advisor to Romney and the fear that his expertise will help the US defeat the Jihadists and the Islamists as argued by a Middle East scholar Dr Robert Rabil in "Walid Phares Under Attack" in the American Thinker

Writing[edit]

Books[edit]

Year Book Publisher
1979 Pluralism in Lebanon Kasleek University
1980 The Lebanese Thought and the Thesis of Arabization Dar el-Sharq Press
1981 Democratic Dialogue Manshurat el-Tagammoh
1985 Thirteen Centuries of Struggle Mashreq Editions (Beirut)
1986 The Iranian Islamic Revolution Dar el-Sharq Press
1995 Lebanese Christian Nationalism: The Rise and Fall of an Ethnic Resistance L. Rienner Publishers
1998, 2001 History of the Middle East: Trends and Benchmarks IRP University of Miami Press
2005 Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies Against America Palgrave Macmillan
2007 The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy Palgrave Macmillan
2008 The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad Palgrave Macmillan
2010 The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East Simon & Schuster
2014 The Lost Spring. U.S. Policy in the Middle East and Catastrophes to Avoid Palgrave Macmillan

Documentaries[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wikistrat profile on Walid Phares". Wikistrat. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Biography of Walid Phares". Trans-Atlantic Parliamentary Group on Counter Jihadi-Terrorism. Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  3. ^ World Maronite Union WMU Secretariat General
  4. ^ UNSCR 1559:Calling on Syria to Pull Out From Lebanon
  5. ^ "Special Report With Brit Hume". Fox News. March 10, 2005. 
  6. ^ a b Vary, Jarad (24 October 2011). "Meet Mitt Romney’s Radical, Right-wing, Sharia-phobe Foreign Policy Advisor". The New Republic. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "Walid Phares under attack". American Thinker. 
  8. ^ Serwer, Adam (27 October 2011). "Top Romney Adviser Tied to Militia That Massacred". Mother Jones (magazine). Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  9. ^ Phares, Walid (1999). "Israel’s Alternative Policy in Lebanon" (PDF). Ariel Center for Policy Research. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "Multiculturalism is Lebanon’s identity". World Lebanese Cultural Union. 
  11. ^ Mostafa Mostafa Geha. "Walid Phares, A Hero to Muslim Liberals". Canada Free Press. 
  12. ^ a b c d Template:Cite web an allegation only advanced by pro-Islamist lobbies and never made by Phares.

External links[edit]