THE AXIS OF EVIL: Hezbollah and the Palestinian Terror, Shaul Shay, Transaction Publishers, Brunswick, NJ, 2004, 262 pages, $44.95.
Shaul Shay is a research fellow at the International Policy Institute for Counter Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Centre and head of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) department of history. His previous books include Terror at the Command of the Imam, The Endless Jihad, and The Shahids. Shay's ostensible subjectivity towards Iranian-sponsored terror in the Levant notwithstanding, this book is of value to military readers for two reasons: it explains the genesis and evolution of Hezbollah from the 1979 Iranian revolution and the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini, and it explains how Hezbollah adapted its techniques-particularly with innovations in suicide bombings-to improve its effectiveness in striking Israeli and other targets in the Levant and around the globe. Any elucidation of Hezbollah is salient because, after 1996, the organization's bomb experts established a degree of cooperation with Al-Qaeda. This book is germane for one other compelling reason: insurgents in Iraq have been emulating and adopting tactics and techniques that the terrorists of Hezbollah perfected in Lebanon and elsewhere in the latter part of the 20th century.
Shay explores the religious underpinnings of the Iranian Revolution and the export of that revolution through the radical Shi'ite fundamentalist sponsorship of terrorist organizations in Lebanon and elsewhere. He describes the Shi'ite terror networks that operated and continue to operate around the world, and explains Hezbollah's modus operandi. …