Articles from Juan Cole

Defying Trump, Iraq Parliament Elects pro-Iran Candidates on Advice of Tehran Super-Spy

Baghdad (AFP) – The Iraqi parliament elected pro-Iran candidates as speaker and first deputy speaker on Saturday, boosting the country’s chances of forming a new administration more than four months after national elections.

National politics has been in paralysis since the May 12 ballot, but Saturday’s selections are expected to solidify new parliamentary alliances.

The pro-Iran bloc led by Hadi al-Ameri’s Conquest Alliance — a coalition of anti-jihadist veterans close to Tehran — consolidated its position as its candidate, Mohammed al-Halbusi, was elected speaker.

Qatar to Sue Saudi Arabia and UAE for Hacking its News Agency, Spoofing Emir

London (Middle East Monitor) – Qatar’s Attorney General has confirmed that independent investigations have proven that Saudi Arabia and the UAE were involved in hacking into the official Qatar News Agency last year. Ali bin Fetais Al-Marri pledged to sue the two countries for “piracy” before the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

US ends Final Sources of Aid to Palestinian civilians

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The United States decided to block millions of dollars to programs that build relations between Palestinians and Israelis as part of its policy to end all aid for Palestinian civilians.

The New York Times reported that “the move to prevent Palestinians — including, in many cases, children — from benefiting from the funds squeezes shut the last remaining channel of American aid to Palestinian civilians.”

Manafort’s Plea Deal is a Constitutional Crisis, we Just don’t Know it Yet

Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – Trump’s campaign manager April-August of 2016, Paul Manafort has agreed to plead guilty to conspiring against the United States. In return for a reduction of his sentence he must answer fully and candidly all the questions asked him by special counsel Robert Mueller and his team about criminal wrongdoing.

Accusation of 1980s Sexual Assault Dogs Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee

Washington (AFP) – President Donald Trump’s conservative pick for the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh denied Friday involvement in an alleged sexual assault on a woman while they were in high school in the 1980s.

In a statement released to US media, Kavanaugh rejected the woman’s claim, made in a letter to the Democrats vetting his nomination, that he tried to force himself on her during a party.

“I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time,” Kavanaugh said in the statement.

Fierce Optimism of Oslo Accords has Vanished 25 Years On

Dublin (Irish Times) – Twenty-five years ago on Thursday, a portly Palestinian boy scout raised the Palestinian red, white, black and green flag from the balcony of Orient House in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem as solemn compatriots spilled from the courtyard into the street.

On the White House lawn in distant Washington, the Oslo Accord was signed in a ceremony seen on satellite channels around the world. US president Bill Clinton, standing between Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli prime minister Yitzak Rabin, coaxed the old enemies to shake hands.

‘Deadly Exchange’: Report Details Israel’s Role in Militarizing US Law Enforcement

According to anti-occupation groups, United States law enforcement training with Israeli forces has increased human and civil rights violations.

(TeleSur) – The Researching the American-Israeli Alliance group, in partnership with anti-occupation group Jewish Voice for Peace released a report detailing the ways in which exchanges between the United States and Israeli state security agencies have reinforced a “security model that justifies flagrant human and civil rights violations” in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

How the Corporate Media Treated Julia Salazar differently from Trump and Netanyahu

Julia Salazar, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, has won the Democratic primary for state senator from Brooklyn and neighboring areas in New York, defeating a long-serving incumbent she claimed was in the back pocket of the realtors.

Coverage of her campaign, however, read like a salacious tabloid, and had a weird set of Middle East connections.