Juan Cole


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.

2 thoughts on “Juan Cole”

  1. This is well-informed commentary. Media reports of progress are illusory. But then, the media generally functions with few exceptions as a government-run ministry of information and or perhaps more accurately… disinformation.

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