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.

Fightin’ Joe Biden Wins big, on Jobs, Covid, the Dow and Infrastructure, but Corporate News downplays Successes

The for-profit press thinks it knows what the story in Washington, D.C., is. Joe Biden is a boring president who struggles to get anything done and the Democratic Party is a hot mess of infighting that paralyzes it. Corporate news is the Eeyore of the news world, spreading pessimism and gloom wherever it goes. The inside-the-beltway narrative of the rich for-profit journalists fails on every point, but they keep filling the airwaves Continue Reading...

The Accumulated Evil of the Whole: That time Bush and Co. made the September 11 Attacks a Pretext for War on Iraq

Kyle Swenson at Washington Post reported in 2018 that Floridian Ishnar Lopez-Ramos was in love, but her intended only had eyes for another woman. So Ms. Lopez-Ramos enlisted two 22-year-old accomplices to target the other woman, who worked at the Ross Dress for Less at a shopping Center near Kissimee. They observed a woman fitting the description of Lopez-Ramos’s rival leaving the store. They kidnapped her and zip-tied her. Then they met Continue Reading...

Trump’s Tehran Poison Pill: US Trade Embargo provokes Iranian Attacks in Gulf, Making Return to Nuclear Deal Harder

The BBC reports that a bitumen tanker, the MV Asphalt Princess, was boarded by nine men on Tuesday and hijacked. It cites unnamed “analysts,” presumably MI6, to the effect that the hijacking was the work of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. The MV Asphalt Princess, owned by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was about to exit the narrow Strait of Hormuz, heading from the Gulf into the Arabian Sea. Two years ago, Iranian forces hijacked Continue Reading...

Gaslighting the Pentagon: Tucker Carlson, who called Iraqis ‘Monkeys,’ Poses as anti-Racist in defending White Supremacy from “Pig” Gen. Milley

Fox white nationalist (there, I’ve been redundant and repeated myself) Tucker Carlson once called Iraqis “semiliterate primitive monkeys,” managing to be racist, anti-Arab and Islamophobic all at once. Now Carlson is posing as an anti-racist. Funny thing, though. He isn’t out there apologizing for his racism against Iraqis. Then there was that time when Carlson advocated for the odious anti-Semitic “replacement theory” that rich Continue Reading...

Brutal Israeli Bombing, Palestinians in Gaza are Thirsty, in the Dark, and lack Medicine, and Thousands are Homeless

Every time Israel bombs Gaza into smithereens, it is left to others to try to rebuild. The European Union, Qatar, and even the Biden administration are offering aid. (The US is giving a piddling $150 million; even tiny Qatar is pledging $500 million.) The Greek myths contain the story of Sysyphus, a trickster figure who ambushed Death when it came for him and chained it up. Ares ultimately freed Death, and when Sisyphus died he was Continue Reading...

New Wind and Solar up 50% globally in 2020, as China beats US by over 4 to 1

The new report on 2020 by the International Renewable Energy Agency reveals that the world’s renewable energy generation capacity increased by an astonishing 10.3% in 2020 despite the global economic slowdown during the coronavirus pandemic. It beats the previous record for an annual increase in this sector by a healthy 50%. The bad news for Americans is that most of this increase took place in Asia, especially China. In this Continue Reading...

Attacks on Asian Americans are Rooted in over a Century of Racist Exclusion

The spine-chilling attacks on Asian-Americans around the country, in San Francisco, New York, and now most bloodily in Atlanta, are manifestations of a white supremacism that has deep roots in American history. The odious Trump and his minions whipped up hatred by branding the novel coronavirus the “Chinese flu” or “Kung Flu.” He was not doing something new. The coronavirus, of course, came to the United States from Europe. Homo sapiens is a Continue Reading...

In Game Changer, Int’l Criminal Court will take up Israeli War Crimes and Apartheid in Palestine

On Friday, the International Criminal Court found that it had jurisdiction to consider war crimes and crimes against humanity and the crime of Apartheid in the Palestinian territories. Israeli politician Abba Eban once quipped that Palestinians never lost the opportunity to lose an opportunity. But Palestinians have carefully, methodically created this opportunity to be heard in an international tribunal. It is the ruling Israeli right wing Continue Reading...