This interview is excerpted from the KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles broadcast of February 4th. The original is available here.
Juan Cole, Professor of History, blogger and author of Engaging the Muslim World, discusses the ramped-up protests in Egypt following the military’s renewed protection against the goon squads and secret police; why Egypt’s conscript army would not likely cooperate with direct attacks on protesters; whether the protesters can hold out longer than Mubarak – who faces a domestic economic crisis and internal and external pressures to resign; Vice President Omar Suleiman’s solid anti-fundamentalist (and pro-torture) credentials; how US bribe money successfully kept Egypt out of Israel/Gaza/Lebanon conflicts for a generation; and why protests are most likely to succeed in non-oil producing states that can’t afford to bribe their citizens into quiescence.
Juan Cole, Professor of History and author of Engaging the Muslim World, discusses the seeming triumph of Iranian-preferred candidate Nouri al-Maliki as Iraq’s Prime Minister, looming conflicts from planned Kurdish expansionism into Arab-majority regions, the short-term marginalization of Moqtada al-Sadr and how the Ayad Allawi walkout shows the disenfranchisement of Iraq’s Sunni minority.
Juan Cole, Professor of History and author of Engaging the Muslim World, discusses the medieval-yet-reasonable Islamic laws of war, how Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 hijackers more closely resemble radical nationalists than Islamic extremists, why many Americans continue to get the facts of 9/11 completely wrong and how “Islamofascism” fears were ginned up in Republican National Committee focus groups to get votes in the 2006 midterm elections
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.
Juan Cole, author of Engaging the Muslim World, discusses the attack in Lahore, Pakistan against the Ahmadiyya religious minority, the propagation of conspiracy theories by the Pakistani government, Muqtada al-Sadr’s extensive community organization apparatus in Iraq and the blurred legal authority governing overlapping US civilian, CIA and military operations.
Internationally syndicated columnist Eric Margolis discusses the infighting between intelligence agencies trying to deflect blame for the Detroit “underbomber,” the inordinate number of innocent civilians killed in predator drone missile strikes, the resonance of Osama bin Laden’s message with opponents of US imperialism and why the US would be wise to remember the phrase “He who defends everything defends nothing.”
Juan Cole, author of Engaging the Muslim World, discusses the void in Iraqi politics created by Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim’s death, Al-Maliki’s failure to reconcile with Sunni nationalist groups, shifting coalitions within the United Iraqi Alliance and the overstated increase in Iraqi violence since the U.S. troop pullback
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.
Juan Cole, author of Engaging the Muslim World, discusses Hezbollah’s electoral defeat in Lebanon, the influence Obama’s Cairo speech may have had in getting moderates elected, Hezbollah’s popular decline after it put on a domestic show of military force in 2008 and the contrast between Obama’s acknowledgment of Iran’s right to a civilian nuclear power program and Hillary Clinton’s no-nukes bellicosity.
Juan Cole, Professor of History at the University of Michigan, discusses the humanitarian crisis caused by the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the Arab/Kurd disagreement over national governmental authority in Iraq, how U.S. air support and logistics will remain even if ground forces withdraw, the relatively large contingent of Islamic-majority countries that are unofficial U.S. allies and the misinformation at the heart of most anti-Islam rhetoric.
Juan Cole, professor of history at the University of Michigan, discusses the American media’s abandonment of the Iraq war as a topic worth covering, the humanitarian catastrophe that continues to deteriorate, the “excess deaths” in Iraq since the invasion, the total number of Iraqis killed with American complicity over the years, America’s government’s on-off relationship with Saddam Hussein, the failure of the “surge” to allow for 5 million refugees to return to their homes.