Articles from Juan Cole

No Trump, Germany doesn’t Get 70% of its Energy From Putin; it gets 41% from Renewables

Trump just made the claim that Germany gets 70% of its energy from Russia (via imports of natural gas). It is being pointed out that this assertion, like most things that come out of Trump’s mouth, is completely untrue.

Germany gets about 9% of its energy from Russia, as Alberto Nardelli noted:

No, Trump is not going to Save UK or Theresa May from Economic Consequences of Brexit

Most observers are puzzled as to why British Prime Minister Theresa May is hosting a Trump visit to her country, a visit that is likely to put a couple hundred thousand protesters in the streets of London alone and to offer opportunities for serial embarrassment to all concerned.

Some 45% of the British don’t want a Trump visit at all. This statistic is shocking. What are 55% of Britons thinking? Still, the negative number with regard to a visit of a US president is unprecedented. London will permit a satiric float to be flown mocking ‘baby Trump.’

Emerging Superpower China Offers Arab States $20 bn. in Development Loans

Beijing (AFP) – China will provide Arab states with $20 billion in loans for economic development, President Xi Jinping told top Arab officials Tuesday, as Beijing seeks to build its influence in the Middle East and Africa.

The money will be earmarked for “projects that will produce good employment opportunities and positive social impact in Arab States that have reconstruction needs,” said Xi, without providing further details.

Iranians Dance To Protest Detention Of Teen Over Instagram Videos

Washington, DC ( RFE/RL) – Iranian social-media users are expressing support for a teenager who was detained over her Instagram dance videos by posting their own clips showing them dancing in solidarity.

Maedeh Hojabri, who had more than 40,000 followers on Instagram, recently appeared in a program on state-controlled Iranian television in which she acknowledged breaking moral norms.

Does this Change Everything? Kavanaugh Pick Cements Generational Rightward Tilt on Court

Washington (AFP) – President Donald Trump on Monday nominated conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court, a decision likely to cement a rightward tilt on the top judicial body with momentous implications for American society.

Trump’s decision stands to be among the most consequential of his presidency as he seeks to shape the high court to his conservative leanings for decades to come. With Kavanaugh a mere 53 years old, he could serve for a generation or more.

Open Apartheid? Israeli Bill that would allow Jewish-Only Communities worries President

Jerusalem (AFP) – Israel’s president raised alarm Tuesday over a proposed law seen as opening the door to the establishment of Jewish-only communities in the country.

Reuven Rivlin’s comments marked a rare intervention in politics by the country’s president, whose role is mainly symbolic.

He voiced his concerns in an open letter, pointing to a clause in proposed legislation defining Israel as the “national home of the Jewish people”.

Top Five Foreign Policy Challenges Turkey’s Pres. Erdogan Faces in New Term

Istanbul (AFP) – President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to take a tough line with the West on key foreign policy issues including the Syria conflict, Russian relations and migrants in his new term, but he may also show signs of compromise.

Foreign policy will be immediately on the agenda after Erdogan’s inauguration Monday, as the president heads this week to a NATO summit in Brussels where talks are expected with leaders including US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

America’s other Crisis of Addiction besides Opioids: Trump and War

New York ( – When you think of addiction in America today, one thing comes to mind: the opioid epidemic. And it should. It’s serious. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, almost 64,000 Americans died of opioid overdoses in 2016 (more than died in the Vietnam War), an average of 175 people a day. In that year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimated that 11.5 million Americans “misused” pain medication.

Israel Pressures Trump over Saudi Nuclear Ambitions

London (Middle East Monitor) – Israel has reportedly informed the Trump Administration of several conditions it expects to be met if Saudi Arabia is be sold reactors to develop its nuclear potential, according to Israel’s Channel 10 news.