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Response to jamzrockz (Reply #12)

Tue Sep 22, 2015, 04:44 AM

14. It would indeed be "even nicer" if the sponsors and suppliers of all sides stopped supporting the


When Assad choose continued repression as his response to the public protests of 2011, I imagine he did not envision a civil war resulting. His father had crushed an outbreak of resistance in 1982 with the loss of a 'mere' 40,000 dead. Bashar probably thought the same would happen in 2011.

Please don't reply with anything coming from Juan Cole, don't care if it starts with "the sky is blue". I would disregard anything he says as complete fabrication and western propaganda.

Informed Comment blog

Since 2002, Cole has published the blog Informed Comment, covering "History, Middle East, South Asia, Religious Studies, and the War on Terror". Blog entries include comments on widely reported articles in Western media, summaries of important articles from Arabic and Israeli news sources, and letters and discussions with both critics and supporters.

The blog has won various awards; as of April 2006 the most prominent is the 2005 James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism from Hunter College. It has also received two 2004 Koufax Awards: the "Best Expert Blog" and the "Best Blog Post". It has since dropped off the list, but Informed Comment has been ranked as the 99th most popular blog on the Internet by Technorati on October 21, 2006. Cole was a strong critic of the George W. Bush administration and is one of the most respected foreign policy commentators amongst left-wing bloggers.


Generally speaking, Cole approaches the Middle East and West Asia from the point of view of anti-colonialism. Viewing the USA as a colonialist power, he sees it as defending the post-World War I "Sykes-Picot/Balfour architecture" (described as "a colossal failure" against Arab nationalist or pan-Islamic challengers. These foundered for various reasons, especially "particularism". The U.S., like previous empires, seeks to take advantage of such internal rivalries in order to "divide and rule". Terrorism, he explains (after comparing several countries in the region), is the result of foreign occupation in combination with weak states.

Cole tends to value multinational (and especially UN) initiatives over unilateral military ones. He favors multi-ethnic states over separatist movements. Given his background in the 1960s and 1970s religious counter-culture, he views Islam (along with other religions) as essentially good, but distorted by certain of its political appropriators (and critics).

CIA harassment allegations

In 2011, James Risen reported in The New York Times that, "Glenn L. Carle, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer who was a top counterterrorism official during the administration of President George W. Bush, said the White House at least twice asked intelligence officials to gather sensitive information" on Cole "in order to discredit him". "In an interview, Mr. Carle said his supervisor at the National Intelligence Council told him in 2005 that White House officials wanted 'to get' Professor Cole, and made clear that he wanted Mr. Carle to collect information about him, an effort Mr. Carle rebuffed. Months later, Mr. Carle said, he confronted a C.I.A. official after learning of another attempt to collect information about Professor Cole. Mr. Carle said he contended at the time that such actions would have been unlawful."


You and I are entitled to disagree with "left-wing", "anti-colonialist" bloggers all we want. That does not make them "Western propagandists". And, yes, the sky is blue in Syria; just like it is here.

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LineLineLineReply It would indeed be "even nicer" if the sponsors and suppliers of all sides stopped supporting the
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