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September 23, 2014
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Tag: Juan Cole


Shock and Awe in Syria: It Never Works

The London pan-Arab daily “Hayat” [Life] reports Tuesday morning on the air strikes conducted on Islamic State positions in Raqqah, Syria, by the United States and several Arab allies.

Posted on Sep 23, 2014 READ MORE



The Arab Political Crisis: It Isn’t a Matter of Civilization and It Isn’t Unique

Hisham Melhem has a piece on what he calls the collapse of Arab civilization. The piece is riddled with contradictions and fuzzy thinking and with all due respect to Milhem, who is a knowledgeable and experienced correspondent, I am going to disagree with it vehemently.

Posted on Sep 23, 2014 READ MORE



South Bend Voice (CC BY-SA 2.0)

NYC Climate Demo: Top 5 Massive Rallies That Had No Effect

I am all for demonstrating and admire everyone who came out in New York City on Sunday to demand that world leaders deal urgently with climate change, but I just do have to point out that holding large rallies doesn’t always result in political change.

Posted on Sep 22, 2014 READ MORE



Changing U.S.-Iran Relations: Kerry Says Iran Has Role in Defeating IS Militants

Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that Iran has a role to play in defeating Islamic State.

Posted on Sep 20, 2014 READ MORE



Top 5 Reasons 45 Percent of Scots Wanted to Leave the Right-Wing U.K.

The U.S. media coverage of the Scottish referendum is oddly lacking in any reference to actual politics.

Posted on Sep 20, 2014 READ MORE



The U.S. Army (CC BY 2.0)

Shiite Militias of Iraq Reject U.S. Return, Threaten to Attack U.S. Forces

The pan-Arab, London-based daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat (The Middle East) reports that the major Shiite militias of Iraq are denouncing Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi for welcoming U.S. air support in the fight against the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Posted on Sep 18, 2014 READ MORE



Screen shot/ YouTube

Should U.S. Policy Toward Islamic State Be Containment?

President Obama’s Sept. 10 speech was a strange mixture of counterterrorism and warmaking.

Posted on Sep 17, 2014 READ MORE



Must Muslim Americans Condemn IS? Must Turkish Jews Condemn Gaza War?

During the recent war in the Gaza Strip, a controversy broke out in Turkey about whether Turkish Jews were required to condemn Israel’s actions, as some pro-Palestinian Turks suggested.

Posted on Sep 16, 2014 READ MORE



Top 5 Contradictions in Obama’s Emerging Islamic State Strategy

In the past week, Secretary of State John Kerry has marshaled support of some sort from European nations and from countries in the Middle East for the U.S. push against Islamic State.

Posted on Sep 15, 2014 READ MORE



Media, Politicians Should Stop Letting Islamic State Manipulate Them

Ever since George W. Bush invaded Iraq and created the circumstances under which al-Qaida could take root and flourish there from 2003 forward, al-Qaida in Mesopotamia (which later styled itself the “Islamic State of Iraq”) has taken captives and has beheaded them on film.

Posted on Sep 15, 2014 READ MORE



Middle East ‘Allies’ Decline to Commit Forces, Resources Against IS

Secretary of State John Kerry’s meeting in Jedda with 10 Middle Eastern foreign ministers produced a communique Friday, but little more.

Posted on Sep 13, 2014 READ MORE



Obama’s ISIS Actions Are Defensive, Despite Rhetoric of Going on Offensive

President Obama’s speech launching his war on ISIS avoided the qualifications that he had earlier made, which had produced caviling inside the Beltway from politicians who confuse careless belligerency with decisiveness.

Posted on Sep 11, 2014 READ MORE



Will It Be a 3 Years War? Obama to Bomb Syria in Fight Against ISIS

At a Monday evening dinner at the White House attended by foreign policy experts, President Obama expressed confidence that he had the authority to bomb ISIS positions in Syria.

Posted on Sep 10, 2014 READ MORE



New Iraqi Government: Less Than Meets the Eye?

The Iraqi parliament finally voted in the government of new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Monday, in what U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called a “turning point.”

Posted on Sep 9, 2014 READ MORE



Top 5 Signs the U.S. Is De Facto Allied With Iran Versus ISIS

U.S. airstrikes on ISIS in Iraq have alternated with Iranian airstrikes on ISIS positions. It seems likely to me that the two air forces are coordinating in at least a minimal way, otherwise there would be a danger of them hitting each other rather than ISIS.

Posted on Sep 9, 2014 READ MORE



The 5 Things You Need to Know Today About the Fight Against ISIL

All the governments in the Arab League are afraid of ISIL.

Posted on Sep 8, 2014 READ MORE



Would a U.S./NATO War in Syria Be Legal in International Law?

Efforts are being made in Congress to give President Barack Obama the formal authority to conduct airstrikes in Syria against ISIL.

Posted on Sep 8, 2014 READ MORE



Elon Musk’s Nevada Gigafactory May Save the World (Video)

It will take time to de-suburbanize the U.S. and move habitations and jobs back into manageable cities, but the world doesn’t have that much time. That’s why Tesla Motors’ new gigafactory is very, very good news.

Posted on Sep 6, 2014 READ MORE



Obama and Cameron Find Little Enthusiasm at NATO for New Iraq War

The NATO summit in Wales was supposed to be all about getting out of Afghanistan. Instead, two new issues dominated it—Ukraine and ISIL in Iraq and Syria.

Posted on Sep 6, 2014 READ MORE



What Hackers Did to Celebs? The NSA’s Been Doing That to All of the U.S. Instead of Predicting ISIL

There has been a lot of justifiable outrage about the invasion of privacy of celebrities and the posting of their private, nude photos at 4Chan by hackers who apparently got into their cloud accounts.

Posted on Sep 4, 2014 READ MORE



Can Iraqi Forces Take Back Saddam’s Birthplace From ISIL?

Joint Iraqi and Kurdish forces began moving into Tikrit on Tuesday night into Wednesday after victories over the so-called Islamic State of Syria and the Levant in villages around Amerli, including Sulaiman Bek.

Posted on Sep 3, 2014 READ MORE



Iraq: Is the Battle of Amerli a Turning Point?

The Iraqi military is maintaining that it has successfully relieved the town of Amerli (pop. 15,000) in northern Iraq from a siege by ISIL (the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).

Posted on Sep 2, 2014 READ MORE



Israelis Alarmed as al-Qaida Captures Golan Checkpoint, U.N. Peacekeepers

Israel now has a border with al-Qaida!

Posted on Sep 1, 2014 READ MORE



Top 5 Reasons ‘Labor Day’ Isn’t for Laborers Anymore

As we burn dead meat and play frisbee in a warming climate, we could stop to consider the lives of the laborers we are theoretically honoring.

Posted on Sep 1, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Public Worried About ISIL and Putin but Climate Change Is the Real Challenge

In a new Pew/ USA Today poll, the American public shows itself alarmed by the rise of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in northern Iraq and Syria as a threat to U.S. security, finding it more threatening even than Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who has risen on the villain scale quite a lot.

Posted on Aug 30, 2014 READ MORE



Syrian Rebels Welcome U.S. Airstrikes on ISIL Terrorists

Arab online newspaper Elaph reports that rebels in East Aleppo, Syria, are deeply divided over the prospect of President Obama ordering U.S. airstrikes on the so-called Islamic State.

Posted on Aug 30, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Victim of McCarthy-Era Witch Hunt Calls on U-Illinois Not to Fire Critic of Israeli Policies

Professor Chandler Davis, still feisty in his late 80s, has just written a personal letter to University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise urging her to rescind the firing of Professor Steven Salaita.

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 READ MORE



Open-Ended Cease-Fire Reached in Israel/Gaza, but How Long Will It Last?

Israel on the one side and Hamas and Islamic Jihad on the other have announced an open-ended cease-fire brokered by Egypt, the terms of which are similar to those of 2012.

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 READ MORE



Top 5 Ironies of U.S. Reaction to Egypt/UAE Bombing of Libya

The diplomatic angst issuing from Washington around the United Arab Emirates’ and Egypt’s bombing of weapons depots belonging to the Qatar-backed fundamentalist militia of Misrata holds many delicious ironies.

Posted on Aug 26, 2014 READ MORE



Iraq: Bombs and Bullets vs. Political Process

A series of bombings and shootings left some 35 dead in Iraq on Saturday, after a massacre of 68 worshippers Friday at a Sunni mosque in mixed Diyala Province.

Posted on Aug 25, 2014 READ MORE



Victim of McCarthy-Era Witch Hunt Calls on U-Illinois Not to Fire Critic of Israeli Policies

In the early 1950s, under the influence of Rep. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wis., a national witch hunt was conducted for leftists.

Posted on Aug 25, 2014 READ MORE



Iraq: If Terrorists Hit Southern Iraq Oil Fields, $5-$7 a Gallon Gas?

Iraq’s former oil minister, Ibrahim Bahr al-Ulum, warned Thursday that the so-called Islamic State terrorist organization could hit the Iraqi oil fields in the south around Basra.

Posted on Aug 23, 2014 READ MORE



Obama’s Budding Cambodia Policy in Syria

Former British ambassador to the United States Sir Christopher Meyer is advocating that the U.S. and Western Europe stop advocating the overthrow of the Baath regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and instead coordinate with it to move against the so-called Islamic State.

Posted on Aug 23, 2014 READ MORE



thierry ehrmann (CC BY 2.0)

ISIS to U.S.: We’ll Drown You in Blood; Beheads U.S. Journalist, Holds Tikrit

As the Iraqi military made a push on Tikrit north of Baghdad on Tuesday, a video briefly surfaced purporting to show the IS beheading an American journalist, James Foley, a freelancer for GlobalPost who had been missing in Syria for two years.

Posted on Aug 20, 2014 READ MORE



Can Al-Abadi Win Over Iraq’s Moderate Sunnis?

Arguably, the so-called Islamic State (actually a vicious gang of serial killers) could never have taken over northern and western Iraq if the largely Sunni Arab populations there had not been deeply alienated from the government in Baghdad by the openly sectarian politics of former Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Posted on Aug 20, 2014 READ MORE



Israel: Crowd Shouts ‘Death to Arabs’ at Jewish-Muslim Wedding

An Israeli crowd gathered outside the wedding of a Muslim man and a Jewish woman in Rishon Lezion, shouting “death to Arabs” on Sunday.

Posted on Aug 19, 2014 READ MORE



The New Jim Crow: Has the Right Finally Repealed the Civil Rights Act?

The 45 million African-Americans in the United States are unequal before the law vis-a-vis European-Americans and becoming more so.

Posted on Aug 19, 2014 READ MORE



Top 10 Mistakes of Former Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (That Ruined His Country)

Did Nouri al-Maliki’s policies help create the country’s current impasse?

Posted on Aug 18, 2014 READ MORE



Dutch Lawyer Who Saved Jewish Boy in WWII Returns Medal to Israel Over Bombing of His Family in Gaza

Henk Zanoli, a 91-year-old Dutch attorney who in 1943 saved a Jewish boy from the Nazis, has returned to Israel the “Righteous among the Nations” medal awarded him three years ago by the Yad Vashem museum.

Posted on Aug 18, 2014 READ MORE


Juan Cole Says ISIS Has ‘Awoken the Drone God’

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: The Mideast scholar suspects the U.S. will begin bombing Iraq like northern Pakistan, police in Ferguson, Mo., provoke a federal investigation, Hillary Clinton stumbles and we remember Robin Williams.

Posted on Aug 15, 2014 READ MORE


Juan Cole Says ISIS Has ‘Awoken the Drone God’

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: The Mideast scholar suspects the U.S. will begin bombing Iraq like northern Pakistan, police in Ferguson, Mo., provoke a federal investigation, Hillary Clinton stumbles and we remember Robin Williams.

Posted on Aug 15, 2014 READ MORE



The Appeal of Intervention: New Iraqi Premier, Libyan Parliament Ask for International Troops

According to a spokesman for his Da’wa Party (Islamic Call or Islamic Mission), Iraq’s prime minister-designate Haydar al-Abadi is preparing a platform on the basis of which he will see to form a new government; one of the planks is a joint Iraqi-international military push against the so-called Islamic State in Tikrit.

Posted on Aug 14, 2014 READ MORE



Iraq: Al-Abadi Garners Iranian, U.S., Saudi Support but Can He Unite Iraq?

Middle Eastern regional powers joined the U.S. in welcoming the appointment of Haider al-Abadi as Iraq’s next prime minister, creating a dorm full of strange bedfellows.

Posted on Aug 13, 2014 READ MORE



The Long Knives Come Out in Baghdad

The coup-like atmosphere created by Nouri al-Maliki’s stationing of his troops at the Green Zone, checkpoints and bridges in Baghdad late Sunday backfired on him with Iraq’s parliamentarians.

Posted on Aug 12, 2014 READ MORE



Iraq: Is al-Maliki Preparing to Make a Coup?

Nouri al-Maliki, who is seeking a third term as prime minister of Iraq in the teeth of widespread opposition, abruptly began acting like a strongman Sunday night.

Posted on Aug 11, 2014 READ MORE



The U.S. Army (CC BY 2.0)

The Cruel Jest of American ‘Humanitarian Aid’ to Iraq

The United States of America has no claim on the language of “humanitarian aid” to Iraq after what it did to that country.

Posted on Aug 11, 2014 READ MORE



Why Is Obama Bombing Iraq, Really?

The newspaper Azzaman reports that a U.S. drone hit mortar emplacements and F-18s struck artillery arrays and armored vehicles deployed by the so-called Islamic State in Kuwair east of Mosul on the way to the Kurdistan capital of Irbil, and near a major dam, some areas of which are controlled by the IS fighters.

Posted on Aug 9, 2014 READ MORE



Obama and Airstrikes to Protect Iraqi Kurds: 1991 Deja Vu All Over Again

During the Gulf War in early 1991, then-president George H. W. Bush called on Iraqis to rise up against Saddam Hussein and the Baath Party.

Posted on Aug 9, 2014 READ MORE



The Salaita Firing: Is Zionism/ Jewish Nationalism a Political Cult?

Liberal politics in the broad sense, in the tradition of Locke, Voltaire, Madison, Jefferson and John Stuart Mill, is rooted in a conviction that vigorous debate clarifies issues and makes for better public policy over time.

Posted on Aug 7, 2014 READ MORE



Israel Doesn’t Get Geneva Conventions, Still Holding Gaza Civilians Hostage

It is legitimate for Israel to seek the disarming of Hamas, but it isn’t legitimate or legal in international law for it to hold noncombatants’ lives and welfare hostage in order to accomplish that goal.

Posted on Aug 6, 2014 READ MORE


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