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Tag: Juan Cole


VIDEO: Obama 1, Netanyahu 0, as Democrats and Public Rally on Iran Deal

The Israel lobbies don’t win every fight on Capitol Hill, but they have tended to win the big ones in recent decades. This time, they are going down.

Posted on Sep 2, 2015 READ MORE



Enter the Bear: Is Russia Planning Airstrikes on Islamic State in Syria? (Video)

The Israeli press is reporting that Iran has made a firmer military alliance with the Russian Federation in Syria and that Moscow is sending pilots to Damascus to fly missions in that country against Islamic State and other Muslim extremist groups.

Posted on Sep 1, 2015 READ MORE



Palestine Overwhelmed by Illegal American Immigrants

If there were a Palestinian Donald Trump, he’d be fulminating against illegal immigrants swamping the Palestinian West Bank—1 in 6 of whom are American.

Posted on Aug 31, 2015 READ MORE



VIDEO: Egypt’s el-Sissi and Putin Pledge Common Front Against Terrorism

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi met Wednesday for the third time in a year with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

Posted on Aug 27, 2015 READ MORE



VIDEO: Defending Natalie Portman: Don’t Use the Holocaust to Justify Fearmongering

Actress Natalie Portman has kicked off a controversy with remarks about how to remember the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews, in which the National Socialists murdered 6 million.

Posted on Aug 26, 2015 READ MORE



VIDEO: Youth Revolts Are Back: Lebanon, Iraq Shaken by Demand for Services, End to Corruption

The master narrative of much Western journalism is that the youth protests of 2011 have been replaced by civil war and terrorism. But while there is plenty of both in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Libya, in fact here and there in the region youth protests have popped up from time to time—in Turkey, Yemen and now Beirut and Baghdad—and shaken up politics.

Posted on Aug 26, 2015 READ MORE



President of Israel Says Israeli Squatting in the Palestinian West Bank Is a ‘Right’

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, a former chairman of the far-right Likud Party that is now in power, is known to favor a paternalist form of the one-state solution. On Monday, he declared Israeli squatting on the Palestinian West Bank a “right” and an essential Zionist principle.

Posted on Aug 25, 2015 READ MORE



Defying Saudis and Iran, Muslim Thinkers Call for Action on Climate Change at Istanbul Conference

Attendees from 20 countries at this week’s International Islamic Climate Change Symposium in Istanbul produced—and 60 of them signed—a declaration warning of the dangers of climate change and urging urgent action to curb carbon dioxide emissions.

Posted on Aug 19, 2015 READ MORE



How Many Thousands of U.S. Troops Would GOP Hopefuls Send to Iraq and Syria? (Video)

Several Republican politicians have pledged a return of U.S. combat troops in large numbers to the Middle East.

Posted on Aug 18, 2015 READ MORE



The Long Knives Come Out in Baghdad (Video)

In principle, the idea of streamlining the Iraqi government and making it more efficient is a capital one. But the reforms being pursued by Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi have to raise some questions about the direction the country is taking.

Posted on Aug 18, 2015 READ MORE



Poll Shows Only 1 in 4 Americans Wants More U.S. Involvement Abroad; Cuba and Iran Low on List

A new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, done before the Iran deal was announced by President Obama, shows how out of touch most of the presidential candidates are on foreign policy public opinion.

Posted on Aug 17, 2015 READ MORE



How the Israel Lobbies Hurt the University of Illinois and the First Amendment in the Salaita Case

There is no honor among thieves or ideologues, and it is sad to see a great university’s leadership descend into petty squabbling and vicious infighting over the illegal firing of Urbana-Champaign professor Steven Salaita.

Posted on Aug 15, 2015 READ MORE



Putin Pitches Grand Alliance Against Islamic State, but Syrian Rebels Want Assad Gone (Video)

The Russian Federation is a key player in Syria—and backer of the dictatorial government of Bashar Assad.

Posted on Aug 15, 2015 READ MORE



A Brutally Frank Jimmy Carter Calls Out Israel on Permanent Apartheid

The former president, foreseeing the darkness to come, says there’s “zero chance” of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Posted on Aug 13, 2015 READ MORE



VIDEO: Why Partitioning Iraq Is a Terrible Idea

I think the remarks of outgoing U.S. Army chief Gen. Ray Odierno on the possible partition of Iraq have been reported in a sensationalist way. Still, he did get drawn into speculating about the partition, which was probably unwise.

Posted on Aug 13, 2015 READ MORE



VIDEO: Memo to Jeb Bush: It Was W’s Surge That Created Islamic State, Not Hillary

Jeb Bush very unwisely went after Hillary Clinton on Tuesday night on the grounds that her Iraq policies gave us Islamic State.

Posted on Aug 12, 2015 READ MORE


VIDEO: That Time Jon Stewart Showed a Juan Cole Clip on al-Qaida

By Juan Cole

Jon Stewart is the most brilliant man on television, and Steve Colbert said it well: that we’ve all learned “how to do our jobs” from him—our job being to be critical consumers of information and news.

Posted on Aug 12, 2015 READ MORE



thierry ehrmann / CC BY 2.0

If It’s Going to Push Us to War, Is It Time for AIPAC to Register as a Foreign Agent?

Most polls show that Jewish Americans are the Americans most enthusiastic about the Iran deal. So on whose behalf is AIPAC intervening in American domestic politics?

Posted on Aug 11, 2015 READ MORE



Top Iran General Endorses Nuclear Deal With the U.S. and the U.N. (Video)

Iranian Chief of Staff Major-Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi said Saturday that despite some reservations, he saw 16 major advantages to the Iran deal. He didn’t mention any specific disadvantages. The deal has also been endorsed by the United Nations Security Council.

Posted on Aug 11, 2015 READ MORE



Game of Groans: How Focus on Trump’s Taunts Hides GOP War on Middle Class and Workers (Video)

The condition of late capitalism produces a press discourse strangely devoid of any mention of class.

Posted on Aug 10, 2015 READ MORE



VIDEO: Obama Casts Opponents of the Iran Deal as Warmongers

The lame-duck president pulled no punches. In his major address Wednesday on the nuclear deal reached with Iran, Obama let his critics have it.

Posted on Aug 6, 2015 READ MORE



VIDEO: How Likely Are the Top 10 GOP Presidential Candidates to Drag Us Into War?

Sending U.S. troops back into the Middle East and going to war there is virtually a plank in the GOP platform.

Posted on Aug 5, 2015 READ MORE



Major Indirect Benefits of Obama’s Climate Plan That Could Save the World (Video)

President Obama spoke on Monday about his plan to use the Environmental Protection Agency to pressure states to close high-carbon power plants and reduce CO2 emissions by 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. But this part of his plan is in my view the least interesting thing about it.

Posted on Aug 4, 2015 READ MORE



Another Bush Legacy in Iraq: Barzani Asks PKK to Leave (Video)

On Sunday morning, Kurdish separatist guerrillas launched a suicide-bombing strike on Turkish forces in Angri province using a tractor laden with explosives.

Posted on Aug 4, 2015 READ MORE



CBS News

How Obama’s ‘All of the Above’ Politics Led to the Rise of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump

The approach to politics taken by Obama until recently — of promising genuine change but governing as a Republican Lite — did more to spur cynicism than any of Jon Stewart’s cartoony double takes at Washington hypocrisy.

Posted on Aug 3, 2015 READ MORE



Thousands in Baghdad Protest Lack of Electricity and Services, Demand End of Corruption (Video)

It seems extraordinary, but in a country where Islamic State has advanced to within an hour’s drive of the capital, civil politics there have not been paralyzed.

Posted on Aug 1, 2015 READ MORE



Al-Qaida Captures Commander in Free Syrian Army, Which Has Ties to U.S.

The 30th Infantry Division of the moderate Free Syrian Army says the al-Qaida-linked Support Front captured one of its commanders and several troops Wednesday.

Posted on Aug 1, 2015 READ MORE



Has Iran Cut Off Hamas? Is Hamas Turning to Saudi Arabia? (Video)

Newsweek is reporting that Iran has cut off funding to Hamas in Gaza, citing Israeli journalism and Hamas sources.

Posted on Jul 29, 2015 READ MORE



On Green Energy, Ethiopia Leaves U.S. in the Dust

During President Obama’s visit, the American press has focused on poverty, terrorism and other ills in the African country. But Ethiopia is getting something right that we are getting badly wrong.

Posted on Jul 28, 2015 READ MORE



The Top Six Signs That Islamic State Is Doomed (Video)

Here are some signs that we won’t be talking about the Islamic State group in just a few years.

Posted on Jul 28, 2015 READ MORE



Turkey’s New ‘War on Terror’ Mainly Targets Kurds (Video)

What was at first announced as a new Turkish turn toward attacks on Daesh (Islamic State) on Friday has quickly become largely a campaign against Kurds instead.

Posted on Jul 27, 2015 READ MORE



Obama in Kenya: Why the Horn of Africa Matters to Geopolitics (Video)

President Obama’s visit to Kenya is of course personal, though he has been there before both as a civilian and as a senator. But it also has a geopolitical and economic dimension.

Posted on Jul 25, 2015 READ MORE



Are Arab Oil Monarchies Divided Over the Iran Deal? (Video)

There is reason to think that the fabulously wealthy Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), comprised of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, is deeply divided over the U.N. Security Council deal with Iran.

Posted on Jul 23, 2015 READ MORE



Terrorist Kills 31 at Socialist Rally for Kobane in Turkey (Video)

On Monday, a young woman aged 18 detonated a suicide bomb belt at a socialist youth rally in Suruç, Turkey, just 10 miles from the border with Syria.

Posted on Jul 22, 2015 READ MORE



Iran’s Khamenei Praises Nuclear Deal but Slams U.S. Foreign Policy (Video)

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s clerical Leader, appeared to be attempting to mollify hard-liners in his Friday prayers addresses.

Posted on Jul 20, 2015 READ MORE



Winners and Losers of the Iran Deal in the Greater Middle East (Video)

The end of most U.N. and European sanctions on Iran and the likely end of U.S. third-party sanctions are shaping how regional states see the Vienna agreement between Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany.

Posted on Jul 18, 2015 READ MORE



Why Don’t U.S. Media Interview Real Allies on American Policy Regarding the Iran Deal? (Video)

If the Iran deal fails in Congress in part because of how television news covered it, then we must blame the networks for fostering yet another major war and draining the U.S. economy.

Posted on Jul 18, 2015 READ MORE



Four Marines Dead: Semi-Automatic Assault Weapons Are a Security Problem for the U.S.

With lone wolf terrorists among us, the threat posed by ordinary citizens’ access to military-style weapons is no longer just a local problem but a very real national security risk.

Posted on Jul 16, 2015 READ MORE



VIDEO: Did the Rise of Islamic State Ensure the Iran Nuclear Deal?

In Iraq on Tuesday, Iraq militias and the Iraqi military launched a counterattack on Falluja with the ultimate aim of driving Islamic State (Daesh) out of al-Anbar Province.

Posted on Jul 15, 2015 READ MORE



How The Washington Post Got Taken In by Syria’s Taliban

Making alliances of convenience is a perennial temptation in Washington, where policymakers often have more ambition than ethics or common sense.

Posted on Jul 14, 2015 READ MORE



No, Mr. Netanyahu, Iran Isn’t Trying to Take Over the World and It Isn’t ISIS

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charged last week that Iran was the major sponsor of terrorism in the world and that it wants to take over the whole world. Here are some replies to Netanyahu’s silliness.

Posted on Jul 13, 2015 READ MORE



South Carolina Removes Confederate Flag. Can It Remove Spiritual Illness of Racial Discrimination?

The South Carolina Legislature has voted to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the Statehouse.

Posted on Jul 9, 2015 READ MORE



As Glaciers Melt in Ecuador, Pope Francis Challenges Technocrats, Touts ‘Keeping’ the Environment

Pope Francis continues to preach environmentalism as he addresses crowds in Latin America, a challenging message in poor countries where over-exploitation of natural resources is a constant temptation.

Posted on Jul 8, 2015 READ MORE



Obama Says U.S. Won’t Send Any More Troops to Fight Islamic State but Will Increase Training

After a briefing at the Pentagon on the fight against Islamic State (also known as Daesh), the president acknowledged Monday that the training of Iraqi troops has been going much slower than expected.

Posted on Jul 7, 2015 READ MORE



Is Greece’s ‘No’ on the Debt Referendum Another Youth Revolution?

In the past five years, the old political categories—left, right, center or capitalist and socialist—have been challenged by a new category: youth.

Posted on Jul 6, 2015 READ MORE



Donald Trump, Dumpee: Forgetting to Use the GOP Racial Dog-Whistle Is an Expensive Mistake

Republican candidates who wanted to play to the “angry white men” were in the past slightly more subtle.

Posted on Jul 4, 2015 READ MORE



Your Fourth of July and My Fourth of July

Your Fourth of July is invasions and wars. Mine is the pure sunbeam of peace.

Posted on Jul 4, 2015 READ MORE



Bernie Sanders’ Madison Visit Attracts Biggest Crowd Any Candidate Has Drawn So Far

The Democratic Party’s left wing is fed up and isn’t going to take it anymore. Americans in opinion polling overwhelmingly favor the positions of Bernie Sanders on most political and social issues.

Posted on Jul 2, 2015 READ MORE



If Islamic State Had Burned Down Four Churches, It Would Have Been Headline News

Seven Southern black churches burned in the past week, and at least four—possibly six—were victims of arson.

Posted on Jul 1, 2015 READ MORE



Tehran Press on Talks: From ‘Iran Will Be U.S. Strategic Ally’ to ‘U.S. Sanctions Are Here to Stay’

The Iranian press has reacted in a whole range of ways to the current round of negotiations between Iran, Germany and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.

Posted on Jun 30, 2015 READ MORE


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