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.

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...

“Can You Believe the World We Live In?” Trump Doesn’t Understand “Classified”

Donald Trump is most probably not a Russian spy.  He may have unusual connections to Russian businessmen (that isn’t clear), and seems to have made $100 million off Russia since 2008 (not that huge a sum for a multi-billionaire). Donald Trump is a braggart.  He grabs a piece of information the way a crow grabs paste jewelry.  Unlike the crow who will likely hoard it, Trump passes it around for all to see. Continue Reading...

Does Trump’s slashed Foreign Aid Budget give China the Advantage?

The US foreign aid budget is not mainly about helping the poor.  It is an instrument for buying influence in countries important to the US.  The poorest countries in the world do not get much help from the US. Israel, which is a wealthy country, gets over $3 billion a year, some of it going to Israeli civilians!  Egypt is a relatively poor country, but most US aid to Cairo goes to the Egyptian military.  In fact, they don’t need or know what to Continue Reading...

The Sadism of Racist Exclusion: Courts Temporarily Block Trump

Picking on immigrants and refugees is the act of a sadistic bully, since they are the one fairly large group of residents of the United States whose constitutional rights are disputed.  The executive order Trump signed late on Friday suspending entrance to the United States for citizens of seven countries and canceling the US refugee program for four months is probably illegal.  The 1965 immigration law forbids discriminating against immigrants Continue Reading...