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.

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...

Preparing for the Normalization of a Neofascist White House


It is 2017, and shortly the White House will be inhabited by an unscrupulous, corrupt narcissist who has shamelessly mobilized the Neo-Nazi fringe of the Republican Party to get into power. Despite all the cries of ‘no’ to normalization on the left, Trump will be normalized by the same corporate media that virtually boycotted Bernie Sanders.  He will be respectfully called “the president” and his wishes and goals will be praised on cable news, Continue Reading...

Why Trump & his Cabinet’s Jihad against “Political Islam” will Fail


Several members of Donald Trump’s new team, including National Security Adviser Mike Flynn and proposed Secretary of Defense Mike Mattis have expressed themselves troubled about “political Islam” (or in Flynn’s case, just “Islam”).  Mattis seems to have confused Daesh’s (ISIS, ISIL) idea of a neo-Caliphate (bringing back a medieval papacy-like institution to Islam) with “political Islam” in general.  He wants Americans to ask the question of Continue Reading...

Four years of Trump Could Really Sink the Planet


I argued that President Obama’s carbon-reduction plan wasn’t anything to write home about.  He want to reduce our annual emissions from 5.4 billion metric tons of CO2 annually from the US to 4.7 billion metric tons by 2030.  It isn’t an insignificant reduction, but it doesn’t at all fit with the urgent need for vast cuts in emissions. Continue Reading...

The Mosul Campaign and the 3rd Presidential Debate


Some of the more extended comments on the Mosul campaign were those of Hillary Clinton.  Here is Wallace’s question: WALLACE: . . . let’s move on to the subject of foreign hot spots. The Iraqi offensive to take back Mosul has begun.  If they are successful in pushing ISIS out of that city and out of all of Iraq, the question then becomes, what happens the day after?  And that’s something that whichever of you ends up — whoever of you ends up Continue Reading...