Juan Cole, Professor of History and author of Engaging the Muslim World, discusses his “Top Ten Myths About Afghanistan, 2010” article; why the supposed “progress” being made in Afghanistan is nothing more than the ebb and flow of guerrilla fighters fleeing from direct confrontation with a conventional army (returning when the soldiers inevitably depart); how the media fails to differentiate between the many insurgent groups and instead lumps them all together as “Taliban;” the messy, violent, and prone-to-failure process of decolonization; why expectations for “success” should consider Afghanistan’s tribal culture and deep aversion to an all-powerful central government; and why allegations of close (Shia) Iranian collaboration with the (hard-line Sunni) Taliban are probably false.
MP3 here. (16:38)
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.