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 Juan Cole Archive

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The New Islamophobia Looks Like the Old McCarthyism
These days, our global political alliances seem to shift with remarkable rapidity, as if we were actually living in George Orwell’s 1984. Are we at war this month with Oceania? Or is it Eastasia? In that novel, the Party is able to erase history, sending old newspaper articles down the Ministry of Truth’s “memory hole”... Read More
By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) In his visit to India, Barack Obama pressed unsuccessfully for India to set specific...
By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment)In his visit to India, Barack Obama pressed unsuccessfully for India to set specific carbon limits. Nevertheless, he did get agreement from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the USA and India would pursue vigorously non-carbon energy sources, including nuclear and renewables such as solar.That was a better outcome than... Read More
Euronews | — “A Turkish teenager who was arrested at his school on Wednesday for allegedly insulting...
Euronews | — Euronews: “Schoolboy arrested for ‘insulting’ Turkish president released”
By Juan Cole | – Satire alert : The hall at the International Criminal Court in the Hague was packed today as the...
By Juan Cole | – Satire alert : The hall at the International Criminal Court in the Hague was packed today as the trial began of former US Vice President Richard Bruce Cheney [they always give all three names of suspected felons in the newspaper.] The ICC justices begin with the first charge, that Mr.... Read More
Human Rights Watch | – (Beirut) – Egyptian authorities need to take clear action to end the practice of...
Human Rights Watch | – (Beirut) – Egyptian authorities need to take clear action to end the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) following the country’s first trial on the crime ending in acquittals, Human Rights Watch said today. A trial this month in Egypt centered on the death of a 13-year-old girl in 2013.... Read More
By Andrew J. Bacevich (Tomdispatch.com) | – “Iraq no longer exists.” My young friend M, sipping a...
By Andrew J. Bacevich (Tomdispatch.com) | – “Iraq no longer exists.” My young friend M, sipping a cappuccino, is deadly serious. We are sitting in a scruffy restaurant across the street from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.  It’s been years since we’ve last seen each another. It may... Read More
By Emile Nakhleh | – WASHINGTON, Nov 20 2014 (IPS) – The recent killing of an Arab youth by the police in...
By Emile Nakhleh | – WASHINGTON, Nov 20 2014 (IPS) – The recent killing of an Arab youth by the police in the Israeli Arab village of Kafr Kanna, outside Nazareth, the ongoing bloody violence in Jerusalem, and the growing tensions between the Israeli security services and the Arab community in Israel could be a... Read More
1. Morocco has announced that the first of a planned five solar mega-plants will go operational in 2015. The North...
1. Morocco has announced that the first of a planned five solar mega-plants will go operational in 2015. The North African country, which is poor in hydrocarbons, has awarded the bid to a Saudi-based company. Morocco intends to generate 2 gigawatts of energy from solar, in an ambitious program that will cost $9 bn. It... Read More
By Sam Bahour (Ma’an News Agency) When I asked my colleague in Gaza about her biggest dream, her answer made an...
By Sam Bahour (Ma’an News Agency) When I asked my colleague in Gaza about her biggest dream, her answer made an impression on me: “I dream of what life would be like with 24-hour electricity.” This was the answer of a single, mid-career, Western-educated, professional woman who lives in the more affluent part of Gaza... Read More
By Juan Cole Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivered a speech at the UN to a half-empty hall in which he...
By Juan Cole Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivered a speech at the UN to a half-empty hall in which he tried to exemplify the most logical fallacies in a short period of time. Netanyahu’s message is that all political Islam is equivalent. Thus, if ISIL is a danger to the west, then the Hamas... Read More
The Young Turks: “Michele Bachmann took the stage at the Values Voters Summit today, and fired up the crowd with...
The Young Turks: The Young Turks: “Michele Bachmann’s Frenzied Bloodlust Delights Values Voters”
TheLipTV: “An ISIS group has threatened to assassinate Twitter employees who close down accounts linked to the...
TheLipTV: TheLipTV: ISIS Threatens to Assassinate Twitter Employees For more on this story see IBTimes Juan adds: I’m with Mark Sovel on this one. Calling for lone wolf attacks means that the individual doesn’t actually have an organizational capacity to carry out threats. Also the NYT’s Rukmini Callimachi casts doubt on the provenance of this... Read More
HEBRON (Ma’an) — A group of Israeli settlers chopped down grape vines on Palestinian agricultural property...
HEBRON (Ma’an) — A group of Israeli settlers chopped down grape vines on Palestinian agricultural property in northern Beit Ummar on Monday, a popular committee spokesman said Monday. Muhammad Awwad said the settlers destroyed seven grape vines in the Wad Abu al-Rish area near the illegal settlement of Beit Ein. The vines belong to Hammad... Read More
By Juan Cole Calling the bottom of a river a “bed” is a metaphor. Imagine the river restlessly sleeping on...
By Juan Cole Calling the bottom of a river a “bed” is a metaphor. Imagine the river restlessly sleeping on its muddy mattress. But when we’ve so internalized a metaphor that we forget it is a figure of speech, as with the phrase “river bed,” it is called a “dead metaphor.” Labor Day is, alas,... Read More
By Nicole Girard via Liberals Unite Mitch McConnell really does not care about our problems. The way he talks about the...
By Nicole Girard via Liberals Unite Mitch McConnell really does not care about our problems. The way he talks about the needs of average Americans, you’d think we were his sworn, personal enemy. At a Koch Brothers Summit in Dana Point, California this summer, the conscience-less, corporate shill basically promised our country’s head on a... Read More
By Juan Cole If prime minister-designate Haydar al-Abadi in Iraq is to hope to defeat the so-called “Islamic...
By Juan Cole If prime minister-designate Haydar al-Abadi in Iraq is to hope to defeat the so-called “Islamic State” (actually a kind of mafia made up of serial murderers and marauders), he must find a way to re-incorporate Iraq’s Sunni Arabs into the government, which has been dominated by Shiite religious parties since 2005, partly... Read More
By Juan Cole The Iraqi military made a push on Tikrit north of Baghdad on Tuesday, but had to call off their campaign...
By Juan Cole The Iraqi military made a push on Tikrit north of Baghdad on Tuesday, but had to call off their campaign when they ran into minefields, booby-trapped buildings, sniping and artillery and mortar fire on the part of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which now styles itself the “Islamic State”... Read More
By Juan Cole The 45 million African-Americans in the United States are unequal before the law vis-a-vis...
By Juan Cole The 45 million African-Americans in the United States are unequal before the law vis-a-vis European-Americans and becoming moreso. In the age of Jim Crow (the white South’s attempt to prevent them from having the full rights of citizens after their emancipation from slavery), African-Americans often were denied the right to vote and... Read More
AJ+: “From Michael Brown to Renisha McBride to Jordan Davis: how black people who are killed get portrayed in the...
AJ+: AJ+ When Black People Are Killed – Michael Brown To Jordan Davis Sample tweets: #IfTheyGunnedMeDown, and I was unarmed, what picture would the media use to create a racialized bias? #MikeBrown — Clara Rose Thornton (@ClaraRose) August 13, 2014 #IfTheyGunnedMeDown which picture would they use?
By Erica C D Hunter, SOAS, University of London – via The Conversation ISIS conquests across northern Iraq have...
By Erica C D Hunter, SOAS, University of London – via The Conversation ISIS conquests across northern Iraq have been comprehensive in recent weeks. Taking control of large parts of the region, they declared a Caliphate last month. And one group who have especially suffered at their hands are the Christians that have been a... Read More
“Jon Snow recounts the scene in Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital, where doctors struggle to treat adults and...
“Jon Snow recounts the scene in Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital, where doctors struggle to treat adults and children wounded by Israeli attacks.” Channel 4 News: “The children of Gaza”
By Anna Lekas Miller “[This week]… several members of New York City’s Arab-American community filed...
By Anna Lekas Miller “[This week]… several members of New York City’s Arab-American community filed into the Good Shephard’s Lutheran Church in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn for the launch of the Take On Hate campaign, a media and policy campaign orchestrated around tackling perceptions of Arab and Muslim-Americans in the United States. In addition to tackling... Read More
By Abdul Hamid Zebari via RFE/RL Rawan Jinan, a 25-year-old Iraqi Christian, says when she received an order on June 18...
By Abdul Hamid Zebari via RFE/RL Rawan Jinan, a 25-year-old Iraqi Christian, says when she received an order on June 18 to leave Mosul within 24 hours, she could not believe her eyes. The order came in the form of a letter delivered to every Christian home by the Islamic State, formerly known as the... Read More
By Roy L Hales Originally Published on the ECOreport Germany’s renewable sector (RE) is flexing its muscles, with...
By Roy L Hales Originally Published on the ECOreport Germany’s renewable sector (RE) is flexing its muscles, with solar production up 28% and wind up 19% during the first half of 2014. As a result, the renewable sector accounted for 31% of the nation’s electricity. If this trend continues, this may be the third year... Read More
“Gaza has been described as the world’s largest open air prison. Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip...
“Gaza has been described as the world’s largest open air prison. Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip has had catastrophic results for average Palestinians living there. We look at the the unforgiving realities they face everyday.” AJ+ Labs “Life In Gaza Explained”
By Lauren McCauley Rights Groups Call for Halt to 'Worst Since Jim Crow' Voting Law Hundreds of people were turned away...
By Lauren McCauley Hundreds of people were turned away outside of a packed courtroom in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on Monday where inside voting rights activists demanded a halt to what they said was the most restrictive voter suppression legislation since the Jim Crow era, local news reports. The plea, brought forth by the North Carolina... Read More
“Katrina vanden Heuvel [editor of The Nation] and Bill Kristol tussled over Iraq on ABC’s This Week today...
ABC News: “Katrina vanden Heuvel: Bill Kristol Should Join Iraq Army”
By Joshua S Hill New figures published by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) show that 19.4% of the...
By Joshua S Hill New figures published by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) show that 19.4% of the UK’s electricity mix for the first quarter of 2014 was generated from renewable sources — up from 12.4% for the same period a year ago. Furthermore, the DECC note that both hydro and... Read More
Credit: Ramy Raoof, Wikimedia Commons
Three Ways the Youth Rebellions Are Still Shaping the Middle East
Three and a half years ago, the world was riveted by the massive crowds of youths mobilizing in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to demand an end to Egypt’s dreary police state. We stared in horror as, at one point, the Interior Ministry mobilized camel drivers to attack the demonstrators. We watched transfixed as the protests spread... Read More
By Mohammed Shareef and Janroj Yilmaz Keles By invading Iraq and mismanaging the aftermath, the United States...
By Mohammed Shareef and Janroj Yilmaz Keles By invading Iraq and mismanaging the aftermath, the United States precipitated Iraq’s collapse as a unified state, but it did not cause it. Erbil aims at becoming the Arab Capital of Tourism The castle in the city of Erbil. Demotix/Yildiz Celik. All rights reserved.With the radical Islamic State... Read More
By Sarah Lazare 'By denying water service to thousands, Detroit is violating the human right to water.' As thousands of...
By Sarah Lazare 'By denying water service to thousands, Detroit is violating the human right to water.' As thousands of people in Detroit go without water, and the city moves to cut off services to tens of thousands more, concerned organizations have taken the unusual step of appealing to the United Nations to intervene and... Read More
By Alex Kirby Researchers warn that marine life could be dramatically affected as climate change threatens to cause...
By Alex Kirby Researchers warn that marine life could be dramatically affected as climate change threatens to cause severe reduction of plankton – the key source of nutrients − in some ocean regions by the end of the century LONDON, 12 May − There are plenty more fish in the sea − but not for... Read More
Ask any Republican about the link between the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and job growth in America and...
America Has Gained Almost 1 Million Healthcare Jobs Since Obamacare Was Passed (via Atlas Left) Ask any Republican about the link between the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and job growth in America and they’ll tell you that Obamacare is ruining our economy and robbing good people of jobs. Of course, that just isn’t true. According... Read More
By Juan Cole The two great branches of Islam coexist in Iraq across linguistic and ethnic groups. There are Sunni Arabs...
By Juan Cole The two great branches of Islam coexist in Iraq across linguistic and ethnic groups. There are Sunni Arabs and Shiite Arabs, Sunni Kurds and (a tiny minority of) Shiite Kurds. Arabs are a linguistic group, speaking a Semitic language. Kurds speak and Indo-European language related to English. Sunnism and Shiism as we... Read More
ERBIL, Iraq — Five days after fleeing Mosul in northern Iraq, Ahmed says he's now more nervous than ever. But it's...
Why some Iraqis would rather try their luck under ISIL (via GlobalPost) ERBIL, Iraq — Five days after fleeing Mosul in northern Iraq, Ahmed says he’s now more nervous than ever. But it’s not the Al Qaeda-inspired extremists who took over his hometown that have him worried. No, he’s scared of what his own military... Read More
Manning says US public lied to about Iraq from the start (via AFP) The detained US soldier convicted of leaking a trove...
Manning says US public lied to about Iraq from the start (via AFP) The detained US soldier convicted of leaking a trove of secret documents to WikiLeaks made a rare foray into public life Saturday to warn Americans they were being lied to about Iraq once more. Chelsea Manning is serving a 35-year prison sentence... Read More
We at Raw Story’s Oh God Here We Go Again desk know that we can’t be the only ones whose stomachs are...
The seven people who need to STFU about Iraq right now (via Raw Story ) We at Raw Story’s Oh God Here We Go Again desk know that we can’t be the only ones whose stomachs are turning at the thought of a renewed military engagement in Iraq. We marvel at the Big Brass Ones... Read More
Obama renews climate change push (via AFP) President Barack Obama renewed his campaign to curb carbon emissions...
Obama renews climate change push (via AFP) President Barack Obama renewed his campaign to curb carbon emissions Saturday, saying the debate over climate change is over. Obama, who made the battle against climate change a core promise of his 2008 election campaign, has been stymied at the federal…   This post was republished using Repost.... Read More
No incumbent majority leader had lost a seat in Congress since 1899, when the post was first created. Rep. Eric Cantor...
Seven Key Takeaways From Eric Cantor’s Shocking Defeat (via Moyers & Company) No incumbent majority leader had lost a seat in Congress since 1899, when the post was first created. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) broke that streak last night. He’s announced that he’ll step down from leadership within weeks. Cantor’s stunning defeat…   This post... Read More
Pakistan pounds ‘terrorist hideouts’ after Karachi attack (via AFP) Pakistan carried out early morning air...
Pakistan pounds ‘terrorist hideouts’ after Karachi attack (via AFP) Pakistan carried out early morning air strikes Tuesday on a militant-infested tribal district, killing at least 15 people, the military said, a day after a brazen Taliban assault on Karachi airport. A military statement said “nine terrorist hideouts…   This post was republished using Repost. Please... Read More
Vegas cop killers ‘had pro-gun militia links’ (via AFP) A gun-toting couple possibly linked to...
Vegas cop killers ‘had pro-gun militia links’ (via AFP) A gun-toting couple possibly linked to anti-government militias killed two US cops execution-style and left a swastika on the bodies, in America’s latest chilling shooting rampage, police said Monday. In the third mass shooting in three weeks in the…   This post was republished using Repost.... Read More
By Juan Cole Our capitalist class may be becoming an absolute danger to ordinary Americans. By promoting a doctrine of...
By Juan Cole Our capitalist class may be becoming an absolute danger to ordinary Americans. By promoting a doctrine of absolute right to gun ownership (which rather helps gun manufacturers) and at the same time encouraging people to hate the Federal government and resent paying taxes, they are creating a whole class of alienated far... Read More
They shouted, “This is a revolution!” ABC News: “Deadly Shooting Spree in Las Vegas” Related...
They shouted, “This is a revolution!” ABC News: “Deadly Shooting Spree in Las Vegas” Related posts: Fox News asks Rand Paul if Reid is right to “call Americans” “Domestic Terrorists” and: “Top Ten Differences between White Terrorists and others”
By Paul Rogers The Damascus regime is winning its war for survival; Syria’s conflict will continue and even...
By Paul Rogers Bashar al-Assad reportedly won 88.7% of those voting in Syria’s presidential election on 3 June 2014. In itself the scale of his victory (nominally over two rival candidates) will mean little more than a reminder that his regime is not without support, even after three years of war and 160,000 people dead.... Read More
The following is an excerpt from Harvey J. Kaye’s The Fight for the Four Freedoms: What Made FDR and the Greatest...
Ronald Reagan, D-Day Anniversaries and the Suppression of Memory (via Moyers & Company) The following is an excerpt from Harvey J. Kaye’s The Fight for the Four Freedoms: What Made FDR and the Greatest Generation Truly Great (Simon & Schuster, 2014). On June 6, 1984, President Ronald Reagan went to Normandy, France, to speak at... Read More
Harvard University scientists have confirmed that a 19th century French treatise in its libraries is bound in human...
Harvard confirms antique book is bound in human skin (via AFP) Harvard University scientists have confirmed that a 19th century French treatise in its libraries is bound in human skin, Harvard University said this week, after a bevvy of scientific testing. Arsene Houssaye’s “Des destinees de l’ame” (On the destiny…   —— related video RT... Read More
There’s going to be a long fight over the Obama administration’s new carbon emissions caps, and it’s...
How Obama’s New CO2 Rules May Break Our Climate Stalemate With China (via Moyers & Company) There’s going to be a long fight over the Obama administration’s new carbon emissions caps, and it’s just getting started. But today brings encouraging news from beyond our borders: As if on cue, the world’s biggest polluter, China, announced…... Read More
By Peter van Buren via Tomdispatch Last year eight Americans — the four Waltons of Walmart fame, the two...
By Peter van Buren via Tomdispatch Last year eight Americans — the four Waltons of Walmart fame, the two Koch brothers, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett — made more money than 3.6 million American minimum-wage workers combined. The median pay for CEOs at America’s large corporations rose to $10 million per year, while a typical chief executive now makes... Read More
By Harold R. Wanless, University of Miami It is amazing for me to see the very aggressive building boom underway in...
By Harold R. Wanless, University of Miami It is amazing for me to see the very aggressive building boom underway in south Florida; on the beaches and barrier islands, throughout downtown and in the low western areas bordering the Everglades. They are building like there is no tomorrow. Unfortunately, they are right. The US National... Read More
With a California town grieving the deaths of six college students killed by a mentally ill man, one victim’s...
Shooting victim’s father rips ‘rudderless idiots’ in Congress: ‘I can’t tell you how angry I am’ (via Raw Story ) With a California town grieving the deaths of six college students killed by a mentally ill man, one victim’s father on Monday blamed the killings on politicians who failed to tighten gun laws after a... Read More
Juan Cole
About Juan Cole

Juan Cole is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. For three decades, he has sought to put the relationship of the West and the Muslim world in historical context. His most recent book is Engaging the Muslim World (Palgrave Macmillan, March, 2009) and he also recently authored Napoleon’s Egypt: Invading the Middle East (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). He has been a regular guest on PBS’s Lehrer News Hour, and has also appeared on ABC Nightly News, Nightline, the Today Show, Charlie Rose, Anderson Cooper 360, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, the Colbert Report, Democracy Now! and many others. He has given many radio and press interviews. He has written widely about Egypt, Iran, Iraq, and South Asia. He has commented extensively on al-Qaeda and the Taliban, the Iraq War, the politics of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Iranian domestic struggles and foreign affairs. He has a regular column at Truthdig. He continues to study and write about contemporary Islamic movements, whether mainstream or radical, whether Sunni and Salafi or Shi`ite. Cole commands Arabic, Persian and Urdu and reads some Turkish, knows both Middle Eastern and South Asian Islam. He lived in various parts of the Muslim world for nearly 10 years, and continues to travel widely there.