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Archives: May 2008

Halliburton and Iran

The moral of the below: If you can’t join them, beat them. Reddit readers have dug up an article by Jason Leopold alleging that Halliburton, of which Dick Cheney was CEO in…

Cole in Salon: John McCain’s Arab-American Problem

My fortnightly column in Salon.com is now out: “John McCain’s Arab-American Problem“. Excerpt: ‘ Arab-Americans do, however, have some distinctive concerns in common. They are more likely to care about the Iraq…

White: UK Deportation of Yezza "Orwellian"

Ben White writes from Nottingham, UK with a guest editorial: “I don’t like to use clichés, but this is really Orwellian”. So said my friend Hicham Yezza, speaking to me this weekend…

War without End

Hoda Abdel Hamid of Aljazeera English has made a multi-part documentary on the Iraq conflict from January, 2006, through the present, entitled “War Without End.” Truth in advertising: I make a couple…

Trotta: Take Obama Out

Liz Trotta, a veteran journalist who helped pioneer a place for women at the front as war correspondents, was being interviewed on Fox News on Sunday by Eric Shawn, when she commented…

Memorial Day, 2008

Memorial Day, 2008

Memorial Day is about honoring those who have sacrificed themselves for the nation, in our armed forces. We cannot honor them properly unless we know the full extent of their sacrifice. We…

Clinton Touches off National PTSD

Senator Clinton’s reference to the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in June of 1968 does not seem to me consequential, for all the brouhaha it has provoked. She was just saying that…

Will Sistani Declare Jihad on US?

Hamza Hendawi and Qassim Abdul Zahra of AP get the scoop: Their sources in Najaf tell them that young Shiite men belonging to the “Troops of the Ayatollahs” (Jund al-Marja`iyyah) militia that…

Hagee Anti-Semitism and Endorsement of McCain

John McCain actively sought and accepted the endorsement of pastor John Hagee. Breaking News: CNN is reporting that McCain has just repudiated Hagee, specifically over these remarks on Hitler as God-sent hunter…

Cole on Newshour

The Newshour with Jim Lehrer will be doing an Iraq segment this evening on the Public Broadcasting Service, and I will be one of the commentators.

Appeasement Breaks out Everywhere

After all that trouble George W. Bush caused with his foolish speech before the Israeli Knesset condemning negotiation with bad guys, it turns out that no one in the Middle East, including…

Poll: Americans Want their Iraq News

The Zogby news release, below, about a new poll demonstrates that Informed Comment is giving the American people what they want in the way of Iraq news: “When asked about the news…

American Idol and American Politics

I find it a little eerie how closely the finale of the television program American Idol resembles the presidential race. Here you have an older male from the school of hard knocks;…

Kennedy Diagnosed with Brain Tumor

Best wishes to Ted Kennedy and his family in the aftermath of his diagnosis with brain cancer. Analysts are pointing out that the Democrats need Kennedy more than ever, as a party…

Sadrists: Iraqi Military Breaking Ceasefire

The USG Open Source Center translates a transcript of al-Sharqiya Television interview with Sadr Movement official Salah al-Obeidi in which he charges that the Iraqi and US militairies have violated the recent…

Cole & the BBC Doha Debates

Cole & the BBC Doha Debates

As I was setting off for some conferences in the UK last April, I got an invitation from Tim Sebastian to come participate in the Doha Debates on April 29. Sebastian for…

Puzzle of Bombings in Jaipur

The bombings that shook Jaipur and killed 80 innocents are not immediately legible as ordinary politics. Most previous such bombings (Bombay, Hyderabad) have been in areas that have important Muslim minorities, or…

11 Killed, 20 Wounded in Sadr City;

No sooner had the truce between the Mahdi Army and the US & Iraqi military been signed than it appeared to break down. Clashes broke out Monday night into Tuesday morning between…

Dangers facing the World

As if Iraq was not enough to worry about, some important political developments in Lebanon, and even in the Yemen have raised the temperature of the Middle East . . . A…

Cole in Salon: Obama and Clinton on Aljazeera

My column, “Clinton and Obama on Aljazeera,” is just out in Salon.com. It is based in part on an interview I did with the editor-in-chief of Aljazeera during my recent trip to…

Sadrists Denounce Sistani and al-Maliki

AFP reports that on Friday an aide to junior cleric Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr lashed out at Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani over his silence at the attacks on Sadr City (a Shiite slum)…

Beirut Ramping Up

Irina Prentice writes from Beirut: Beirut Ramping Up Yesterday afternoon the political fight came to a head, turning to armed conflict throughout key neighborhoods in Beirut. Loud explosions, automatic machine gun fire,…

Sadr City Residents Warned to Leave;

AFP reports, “25 killed as Rockets Shatter Basra Calm.” Shiite guerrillas fired a barrage of rockets at the British base out at the airport in Basra, killing two civilians. There was retaliatory…

Happy 60th to Israel

Israel is celebrating its 60th anniversary, and let me take this opportunity to wish my Israeli readers a happy anniversary. The Middle East is always viewed through the lens of politics and…

Violence in Beirut

Violence in Beirut

Violence in Lebanon Courtesy al-Hayat Update: CNN is reporting that the Lebanese military is reluctant to intervene in street fighting between pro-Hizbullah forces and supporters of the Seniora government. Aljazeera is also…

Obama strides Closer to Victory

Barack Obama pulled closer to clinching the nomination last night, widening his lead over Hillary Clinton in voted delegates and in the popular vote. He overwhelmingly took Indianapolis and narrowed her earlier…

Obama: Clinton on Iran Obliteration: Bush Clone

Barack Obama criticized Hillary Clinton on Sunday for her threat to “totally obliterate” Iran if it attacked Israel. He said on Meet the Press, ‘MR. RUSSERT: Hillary Clinton was asked about if…

Doha Debates on Sunni-Shiite Violence

For those of you with access to BBC World, the best 24 hour news channel in the English-speaking world check out the Doha Debate this weekend. I was one of the debaters…