Juan Cole — Next Friday in Washington

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My blogging colleague, Juan Cole, who publishes the blog, Informed Comment: Thoughts on the Middle East, History and Religion, will be speaking at a forum I am chairing next week at the New America Foundation. He will be speaking about his just released book, Napoleon’s Egypt: Invading the Middle East.
But I bet in the Q&A session, Cole would not be averse to receiving some questions on ‘Bush’s Middle East.’
This is open to the public — and you are welcome to join us at the New America Foundation (see website for address) on Friday, 24 August, from 12:15-1:45 pm as long as you RSVP to communications@newamerica.net and state that this is for the Juan Cole meeting. You bring your own brown bag lunch.
Juan Cole is someone very worth spending time with — and more importantly, folks should be reading his book.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

6 comments on “Juan Cole — Next Friday in Washington

  1. MP says:

    Lurker writes: “David Remnick, in his New Yorker article “The Apostate” (7/30/07) repeated the lie that Ahmadinejad had “called yet again for the elimination of Israeel from the map of the Middle East.” I’m quoting Remnick directly from the New Yorker article.
    Professor Cole has refuted this mistranslation of Ahmadinejad’s statement. Ahmadinejad actually said that Israel would “vanish from the pages of time” much like the former U.S.S.R.”
    There are lots of reasons not to give credence to Cole’s version, either…yet it, too, gets repeated. For one thing, think about the argument being proffered. “Vanish” is supposed to be sort of a non-violent implosion from within, where the people stand up to a repressive regime. This makes sense in Israel’s case only if you ignore the fact “the people of Israel” are Israelis and they LIKE their government. So, HOW the two situations are parallel–Israel and the Soviet Union–is hard to see. Moreover, the Soviet Union was “godless” while Israel is not.
    Second, if a foreign leader talks about your government “vanishing,” it’s left to the imagine as to how this vanishing is supposed to take place. Asserting that this “vanishing” is to be non-violent is cold comfort to those who are the target of these words, a good number of whom were “vanished” but in a more violent way. It doesn’t help A’s case that he is a Holocaust denier (essentially).
    Third, even if, as Cole asserts, there is no expression in Persian for “wiping off the map,” it is impossible to believe that this thought can’t be expressed in Persian, even if it isn’t a word for word translation.
    Fourth, there is credible evidence that “wiping off the map” CAN be said in Persian, as it was translated thusly by the Persian-born reporter for the NY Times in Teheran. She used those words, or pretty close thereto.
    Fifth, it’s been a fairly standard policy of the Iranian regime since Khomeini’s takeover in 1979. A is not the only one to have said it and, it could be argued, he was merely repeating the standard talking points of the religious regime. No big deal (for them).
    Sixth, the Iranians support folks such as Hezbollah who take as their chartered purpose the elimination of Israel.
    Now, all of this is NOT TO SAY that we should bomb Iran or conduct any military action against Iran. But Cole’s objection doesn’t hold much water, IMO.

    Reply

  2. Lurker says:

    David Remnick, in his New Yorker article “The Apostate” (7/30/07) repeated the lie that Ahmadinejad had “called yet again for the elimination of Israeel from the map of the Middle East.”
    I’m quoting Remnick directly from the New Yorker article.
    Professor Cole has refuted this mistranslation of Ahmadinejad’s statement. Ahmadinejad actually said that Israel would “vanish from the pages of time” much like the former U.S.S.R.
    Perhaps Professor Cole, given his prestigious position, could call or email Remnick, as well as the editors of the New Yorker, and demand that both immediately correct this mistranslation.
    It might help stave off an attack on Iran.
    I have subscribed to the New Yorker for decades, and now really feel that it has become a tool of the neo-conservatives, and that even Seymour Hersh is not telling us the full truth all the time.

    Reply

  3. general panzer says:

    http://napoleonsegypt.blogspot.com/
    Prof Cole has also started a new blog about the book.

    Reply

  4. Carroll says:

    I have been reading some excerpts from Cole’s Napoleon ..fascinating. He has a link to them thru his site.

    Reply

  5. easy e says:

    Would be interested in hearing more from Cole about pending Petreus report and escalating Iran war mongering.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/reutersEdge/idUSKAR67098020070816

    Reply

  6. Ghost Writer says:

    Golly Steve, please ask Professor Cole his thoughts on al-Qaeda in Iraq. Please? Professor Cole is probably the single source for accurate thought and reporting about Iraq and the Middle East in general. What a brilliant man. Please forgive my gushing. The good Professor simply rocks!

    Reply

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