Articles from Juan Cole

Why is Saudi Arabia suddenly so paranoid?

By James L. Gelvin | (The Conversation) | – –

In the past, Saudi Arabia depended upon its enormous oil wealth and the United States for its security. It used the former to buy friends and pay off enemies and potential enemies. It used the latter to guarantee its survival. With a few exceptions, Saudi Arabia did not involve itself directly in the affairs of its neighbors.

Kirkuk Kurds Anguished about Future of Province

By Shalaw Mohammed | ( | (Kirkuk) | – –

People in the northern city of Kirkuk have lived through a lot, including attacks by the Islamic State. But for many, last weekend was the last straw.

In the middle of the night of October 16, the people of Kirkuk were glued to their televisions and computers. News about Kirkuk was being continuously updated and nobody really knew what was happening. All they knew is that they were hearing about fighting and a possible civil war.

Beyond the “Me Too” campaign: Sexual harassers and adult bullies

By Gail Ukockis | (Informed Comment) | – –

His name was Jesse. I would have considered him to be handsome but for his dark eyes, which looked at me in a predatory manner. Dressed in his blue security guard uniform at the downtown Denver library, he looked official and authoritative. I was only sixteen, an ugly duckling who wore an ugly mustard-yellow shelver’s jacket. At first, the attention from this older man was flattering. Then I grew afraid.

Iran’s Khamenei: We’ll observe Deal if Europe does, despite “Charlatan,” Trump

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

Iran’s clerical Leader, Ali Khamenei, said on Wednesday that he did not intend to engage in a tit for tat with Donald Trump, who had attacked Iran in a speech last week.

“Naturally, I do not want to spend time right now in replying to the fables and falsehoods of this charlatan president of the republic. . .” He added that replying to such as Trump is “a waste of time.”

Volcano-driven Climate Change Defeated Egypt’s Ptolemies

By Steven Young | ( The Watchers) | – –

Around 245 BCE Ptolemy III, ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt, made a decision that still puzzles many historians: After pursuing a successful military campaign against the kingdom’s nemesis, the Seleucid Empire, centered mainly in present-day Syria and Iraq, Ptolemy III suddenly decided to return home. This about-face “changed everything about Near-East history,” says Joseph Manning, a historian at Yale University.

Is racial bias driving Trump’s neglect of Puerto Rico?

By Lauren Lluveras | (The Conversation) | – –

The morning after Hurricane Maria blasted through Puerto Rico, I emailed my aunt to ask if she was safe. That was Sept. 21. I heard back from her on Oct. 10. She was fine, she assured me, but “Puerto Rico is destroyed.” After that, my tia and I again lost contact; her email had come through during a brief moment of cell service.

Burma: New Satellite Images Confirm Mass Destruction of Rohingya

Human Rights Watch | – –

288 Villages, Tens of Thousands of Structures Torched

(New York) – Newly released satellite images reveal that at least 288 villages were partially or totally destroyed by fire in northern Rakhine State in Burma since August 25, 2017, Human Rights Watch said today. The destruction encompassed tens of thousands of structures, primarily homes inhabited by ethnic Rohingya Muslims.

ISIL was ended not by Trump or Obama but by Muslims

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

Raqqa, the capital of the ISIL phony “caliphate” in eastern Syria, has completely fallen, according to a spokesman for the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. It is just a matter of neutralizing a few remaining cells and defusing booby traps in the city.