Juan Cole


Juan Cole, author of Engaging the Muslim World, discusses the origin and meaning of the Taliban, the conflicting messages Obama and the U.S. military give on why staying in Afghanistan is a good idea, the benefits of an “Egypt solution” billion dollar yearly payoff to stabilize and allow withdraw from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s low popular support and territorial control.

MP3 here. (30:17)

Juan R. I. 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, Democracy Now! and many others. He has also given many radio and press interviews. He has written extensively about Egypt, Iran, Iraq, and South Asia. He has commented extensively on the Iraq War, the politics of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the increasing conflict with Iran. He has a regular column at Salon.com. 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. A bibliography of his writings may be found here.

7 thoughts on “Juan Cole”

  1. I am a Pashtun. My great Grandfathers fought the British. My father & grandfather fought the Russians. Now we fight the Americans. Every decade Westerners get the itch to invade us, destroy or homes, crops, animals and villages. The British & Russians also called us terrorists because we opposed them and fought them. Now the Americans brand us as terrorists. In fact it is Americans, Russians and teh British who have terrorised us for the past 200 years.

  2. Demonizing the Pushtuns with propaganda like The Kite Runner helped keep us at war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Anybody who thinks this war will prevent another 9/11 would buy the Brooklyn Bridge from me. I will give you a good price!

  3. G Afghan,

    nobody would call the taliban terrorists if they didn't support terrorist and themselves blew up civilians, and nobody would support eradicating the zealots burning girls' faces with acids for not covering up and closing schools if they didn't behave like savages.

    As a Pashtun I would have thought you'd want your people to move on beyond the 7th century but I guess hating Americans wins out, especially if you're sitting comfortably in an air conditioned room with a PC and internet connection and not in a taliban stronghold with their boots on your neck.

  4. ^on my previous post, 'as a pashtun' didn't mean to imply that I'm a pashtun, was referring to G Afghan.

    and just to -preemptively (:p) reply to anybody pointing out civilian deaths caused by americans, I'll considering those anywhere near filth like the taliban and al-qaida when the amerian military purposely targets civilians and cheers their deaths.

  5. Tikhon Gilson,

    The Kite Runner was propaganda like Schlinder's List was propaganda.

    I have no idea why is it hard for the 'enlightened' anti-war crowd to at least recognize the barbarity and savagery that exists. say you don't want a war, fine, it doesn't contradict any recognition of real suffering, but you have to go out and and support every tyrant and make excuses for every terrorist and go batshit insane almost exclusively at american 'crimes' and never bat an eye on things orders of magnitude more horrible.

    You people are thoroughly repugnant.

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