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.

Trump Paradox: He Promotes CO2 even as Climate Emergency Impels Emigration from Guatemala

Trump’s fear-mongering about Central American asylum-seekers (they aren’t intending to become undocumented immigrants) is unethical on many levels. But perhaps worst of all, Trump is promoting burning of coal and other fossil fuels that cause global heating and climate change, but can’t connect that dirty energy policy to the crises in central America. The weather in Guatemala has become, residents say, unpredictable. In some years and in some Continue Reading...

How Rosenstein’s Firing Could lead to Trumpian Martial Law and Blood in the Streets

The New York Times reports that deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein talked about wearing a wire to record Trump’s insane prattering, and spoke ofinvoking the 25th amendment, which allows the cabinet to remove the president if he is incapacitated. Rosenstein’s office says that the remarks were facetious. They were recorded in memos by former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, that somehow came into the possession of NYT reporters. Trump has Continue Reading...

Crazytown Abroad: Trump’s Dreams of Preemptive War, Assassination and Withdrawal

The Washington Post yesterday carried excerpts from Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book, “Fear,” which profiles the Trump White House from hundreds of hours of interviews with staffers. Trump declined to be interviewed. Here are some of the main points regarding foreign policy (though the word ‘policy’ has to be taken with a grain of salt). 1. When Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad was accused of using chemicals in an attack that killed Continue Reading...

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...