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.

With new pro-Iran Iraq Coalition, Tehran Outmaneuvers Trump-Saudi-Israeli Axis

Trump allegedly complained to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that after the 2015 nuclear deal, the Iranians “think they can do anything they want.” Presumably Trump was referring to Iran’s geopolitical reach in the Middle East, where it had gathered up allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. It is likely that Trump’s violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the deal signed between Iran and the five permanent Continue Reading...

Top Six Reasons Pompeo should not be Secretary of State

NBC is reporting that Mike Pompeo lacks the votes in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to have his nomination to be Secretary of State be favorably reported out of committee on Monday night. Democrats on the committee have expressed fears that Pompeo, a warmonger, will reinforce the worst tendencies of Trump. Pompeo has been director of the Central Intelligence Agency for the past year. He was tapped to succeed ousted former Secretary of Continue Reading...

Cambridge Analytica as the Matrix: Information Dominance and the Next Level of Fake News

The 1999 film “The Matrix,” written by Lana Wachowski (formerly Laurence “Larry” Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski (formerly Andrew Paul “Andy” Wachowski), depicts a future in which human beings have been imprisoned by machines in capsules that siphon off their heat and energy and which create the illusion of everyday life to fool them into thinking they are at liberty. Continue Reading...

The Nunes Memo, Spirit Cooking and Pizzagate

The confident pronouncements by pundits and politicians that the Nunes memo is a dud, dead on arrival, neglect to consider the main tactic of the Republican right wing for some time now. It is a conspiracy theory, and conspiracy theories carried Trump to the White House and many Republicans into Congress or state legislatures. Nunes cherry-picked intelligence reports to arrive at a narrative whereby the Obama FBI bamboozled FISA judges into Continue Reading...

Trump’s disastrous Year in the Middle East: Syria

Trump on the campaign trail said many self-contradictory things about the Syrian civil war. He wanted to carpet bomb ISIL, which had a strip of territory in the far east of the country. He wanted to send in 30,000 US troops, he said at one point. Then at other times he argued that “we” should just “let Russia handle it.” Continue Reading...

26 Gun murders (equiv. 130) in England vs. *11,004* in US Annually

There have been 1,516 mass shootings in 1,735 days in the United States. You’ll note you don’t hear about mass shootings in Australia, Japan or for the most part the United Kingdom, or other civilized countries whose politicians have not been bought by 10 major gun manufacturers. The United States continues to be peculiar in handing out powerful magazine-fed firearms to almost anyone who wants one and not requiring background checks on private Continue Reading...

Fascism in Charlottesville: Why it had a monopoly on violence & Intimidation

In his unhinged news conference on Tuesday, Trump equated what he called the “alt-Left” (which is not a thing) with the alt-Right.  He characterized the latter as good people who were just protesting removing a statue of the traitor Robert E. Lee and wondered if statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson (not notably traitors to the United States of America) would be removed next. At one point he asked who the alt-Right are. The Continue Reading...

Did UAE Plant Fake News about Qatar to Fool Trump?

The intrepid Karen DeYoung and Ellen Nakashima report at the Washington Post that anonymous US intelligence officials have decided to go public with what they know about the attempt of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to frame Qatar. The hacking attack on May 23 that planted fake news, such as doctored video showing the emir of Qatar praising Hamas, the fundamentalist Palestinian party-militia, and praising Iran, was planned out by high Continue Reading...