Juan Cole


Juan Cole, Professor of History and author of Engaging the Muslim World, discusses Rafic Hariri’s rise to power and prominence in Lebanon before his 2005 assassination, initial suspicions cast on Syria due to its efforts in maintaining political dominance in Lebanon, how Hezbollah filled the political vacuum created by Syria’s withdrawal – much to the chagrin of Israel and the Bush administration and why the current investigation’s focus on Hezbollah could destabilize the fragile Lebanese government.

MP3 here. (17:03)

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.

5 thoughts on “Juan Cole”

  1. I would not put much weight in the fact that many Lebanese were seemingly convinced that the Syrians had done it. All the anti-Syrian factions had a lot to gain from blaming the Syrians so they would not necessarily be interested in the truth but in whatever best served their interests.

    The other mayor suspect were the Al-Queda style anti-Saudi Sunnis, but since they were already a rather marginal group influence-wise little could be gained from showing them in a bad light.

  2. juan cole just said that the israelis dont understand lebanon society. That is a very ridiculous statement. Is Mr. Cole wanting us to believe that he has a better understanding of lebanon than the isreli's?

    It sounds to me that mr cole is trying to present the image that he knows more than anyone about lebanon.


  3. My understanding is the Lebanese constitution requires a Christian President, so there are limits to what non Christian Lebanese factions could gain from removing the President.

    Actually the demographic problem in Lebanon is that Lebanese Christians can leave to France or the even the US. At the same time aerial bombardment gives Christians more incentive to leave.

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