Scott Horton Interviews Juan Cole

Scott Horton, January 10, 2010

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Juan Cole, author of Engaging the Muslim World, discusses the civil war in the Mandate for Palestine after the British Empire’s dissolution in the late 1940s, Gaza’s transformation into a blockaded prison, Israeli officials implicated in Gaza war crimes who risk arrest if they travel abroad, Egypt’s complicity in detaining human rights activists bringing aid to the occupied territories, the lingering effects of WWII devastation that are evident in the geopolitical passivity of European countries and why Obama deserves credit for an improved US image abroad and positive policy changes.

MP3 here. (33:44)

Juan Cole is the author of Engaging the Muslim World. He is a Professor of History at the University of Michigan and writes the “Informed Comment” blog at Juancole.com.

4 Responses to “Juan Cole”

  1. Is Cole being slightly obtuse? He is lauding Obama for things he hasn’t done. While Cole claims big changes in Iraq, he fails to mention the expanding wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and maybe Yemen. He also failed to mention the Obama capitulation to Netanyahu regarding the settlements. So, what is Cole so sanguine about? And why didn’t Scott challenge him on this? NB: this is not the first time that Cole sounds like a imperialist-lite; on occasion he has called on US troops to remain in Iraq, a position he was taken to task for by Alex Cockburn.
    And after decades of US meddling in the region, does the program have to be that didactic? One would hope that Americans wouldn’t have to be "educated" at the 101-level every time the topic of Israel and Palestine are discussed.

  2. Cole seems a bit separated from the reality in the middle east.

    The general population WELCOMING american military in their "war on terror"? what planet is this guy on?

  3. Both of the above comments are right on the button. Professor Cole is strongest when he sticks to earlier history. His take on modern developments is too much of an apology for the status quo. His view on al qaeda for example totally ignores the voluminous evidence of co-operation between al qaeda and western intelligence forces when it suits the latters purposes. Nafeez Ahmed has written extensively on this and is required reading for anyone interested in the role that al qaeda is called on to play when it suits western interests, either as agents or patsies.

  4. The real culprit is economic ignorance. For all the great history and cultural insights Mr Cole's might bring, his ignorance of economics via his silly assumption that we need to be in the middle east because of oil, brings him down to an average babbler. Actually, even his cultural insights lead to stupid ideas. He believes that if we could just get bin laden, or the root, this would improve things. This is not true. There is no root to thoughts, ideas,incentives, and circumstances which are repeated all over.

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