Articles from Juan Cole

Saudi Crown Prince Implicated: Credible reports of Torture and Murder in Ritz Carlton: NYT

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

The late Saudi Maj. Gen. Ali al-Qahtani is said to have shown up at the morgue from the Riyadh Ritz Carlton where he had been imprisoned by Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, 32, with a broken neck, bruises and swelling all over his body, and burn marks from electric shock.

Iraq: Al-Sadr & Communist Party ally against Corruption, Iranian Hegemony

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

Nativist Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, 44, is encouraging members of his Sadr Movement to vote in the upcoming national elections for parliament. “Vote,” he said, “and save our country from corruption.”

A newly formed political party, al-Istiqama or the Upright Party, will hew the Sadrist line.

Victimizing Children: The Stunning New Cruelty of Trump’s Immigration Enforcement

By Jill Richardson | ( | – –

Whatever your views on immigration, we should all agree not to torment small children.

We’ve reached a cruel new phase in the U.S. government’s war on immigrants without papers. And it should disturb you no matter what your views on immigration.

When undocumented immigrant families are detained, they are being increasingly split up. Not only are whole families being rounded up, but parents are being detained separately from their children — often states away.

Western Man jailed for “insulting” UAE online

Middle East Monitor | – –

A 39-year-old teacher has been jailed and forced “to sign a fake confession” in the UAE following “an electronic insult” on social media.

Christian Wilke was arrested in October 2017 while working as a teacher in Abu Dhabi. His mother, Christine Wilke-Breitsameter, says he is being held in filthy conditions and has been forced to sign a false confession.

Christian has also not been told what has led his arrest, his mother added.

Bonus Tweet added by Informed Comment:

Lebanon: 5 Steps to Improve Women’s Rights

Human Rights Watch | – –

Parliament Candidates Should Commit to Reforms

(Beirut) – Candidates running in Lebanon’s May 6, 2018 parliamentary elections should commit to five key steps to improve women’s rights, Human Rights Watch said today, on International Women’s Day. Political parties should also ensure greater participation of women in parliament by including women on their candidate lists.

Surprise withdrawal of Syrian guerrillas from East Ghouta as Regime advances

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

The Syrian War is largely over, but the regime of Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers appear determined to mop up the remaining enclaves of rebel opposition, despite sweet talk of de-confliction zones and of negotiations in Sochi or Astana. It would be better at this point to come to a political settlement, since the regime has won but is still weak in many areas, and a compromise is not impossible.

Youth, Gun Safety and the Pentagon

H. Patricia Hynes | (Informed Comment) | – –

To my astonishment, I began receiving daily news updates from the Pentagon, innocuously named the Early Bird Brief, about a month ago. One particularly perverse news brief warrants mention: the number of out-of shape and unfit youth is an imminent national security crisis, (not because they matter for themselves), but because they are “too fat to fight,” as one writer put it.