Editor's Note: Juan Cole is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. The following is reprinted from his blog Informed Comment. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Juan Cole.
What's the worst case scenario of an Israeli air strike on Iran's nuclear enrichment facilities? Below is what I came up with. I think each of these scenarios is plausible in its own right, and that all could well ensue.
2. Oil prices will spike. I imagine you could easily see $150 a barrel or maybe even more. This development could throw the U.S. and Europe back into deep recession.
3. Hezbollah would likely launch rockets, causing at least severe inconvenience to some 1/4 of the Israeli public, which might well have to move house again, and possibly much worse if Hizbullah is able, as they claim, to target toxic gas storage in Haifa or even the reactor at Dimona with modified Chinese silkworms.
Editor's Note: Juan Cole is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. The following is reprinted from his blog Informed Comment. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Juan Cole. The European Union threatened Iran on Monday with cutting off petroleum imports into the 27 EU member states, and announced sanctions on Iranian banks and some port and other companies. Iran sells 18 percent of its petroleum to Europe, and Greece, Italy and Spain are particularly dependent on it. Europe also sells Iran nearly $12 billion a year in goods, which likely will cease, since there will be no way for Iran to pay for these goods. Some in Europe worry that the muscular anti-Iran policy of the UK, France and Germany in northern Europe will worsen the economic crisis of southern Mediterranean countries such as Greece. Editor's Note: Juan Cole is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. The following is reprinted from his blog Informed Comment. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Juan Cole. The election results for Egypt’s lower house have been announced, and the Muslim religious parties appear to have gained over 70% of the seats. The Muslim Brotherhood is claiming its Freedom and Justice Party took 47% of the 498 seats in the lower house of parliament.
The hard line fundamentalist Nur Party won 29% of the seats contested on a party basis.
To have 51%, the Muslim Brotherhood party needs a coalition with another party. Its leaders have at least said that they prefer to make that alliance with a secular party like the Wafd rather than with the hard line Salafis. FULL POST Editor's Note: Juan Cole is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. The following is reprinted from his liberal blog, Informed Comment.
News is too often defined as bad news. At a time when many Americans are unemployed or under-employed, or have lost their homes or seen their value plummet, it is hard to be too sunny. But the U.S. does have a lot of good news stories to celebrate, despite the adversity we are currently facing, and it is in the tradition of this day to highlight those things for which we can be grateful.
1. The Iraq War is finally over. Not just major combat operations. Not just a phase of the war. The whole. War. Is. Over. Done. Complete. Out of there. U.S. troops are going to be out of the country by the end of the year. Those who cavil that maybe a few trainers or embassy guards will be left behind don’t remember when there were 160,000 U.S. troops in that country during a time of fierce fighting and civil war. As someone who followed the war intensively, I feel cheated that our troops will have no parade, and there will perhaps be no public ceremony marking the milestone.
3. The United States lost no troops in the Libya War. The international intervention was relatively successful in preventing a massacre and further repression of the Libyan population in cities such as Benghazi, which had risen up against the regime of dictator Moammar Gadhafi. The worst prognostications of critics were never realized.
Editor's Note: Juan Cole is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. The following is reprinted from his blog, Informed Comment. The problem is that sanctions on the Iranian financial and banking sector are already so extensive that the only way to go beyond them is to start a boycott of Iranian petroleum and gas. FULL POST The surprise announcement on Sunday by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia that women will be allowed to vote in and run for office in the municipal elections scheduled in four years is another sign of the pressure the kingdom is under to reform. Although this announcement wasn’t anticipated, it comes as a result in part of nearly a decade of women’s activism, beginning with a January 2003 petition from Saudi women demanding their political rights. The recent Facebook campaign for driving rights for women, and the act of civil disobedience by some 80 or so in daring to drive, probably helped impel the king to make this decision. FULL POST Editor's Note: Juan Cole is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He writes the blog Informed Comment.
The Libyan Revolution has largely succeeded, and this is a moment of celebration, not only for Libyans but for a youth generation in the Arab world that has pursued a political opening across the region.
The secret of the uprising’s final days of success lay in a popular revolt in the working-class districts of the capital, which did most of the hard work of throwing off the rule of secret police and military cliques. It succeeded so well that when revolutionary brigades entered the city from the west, many encountered little or no resistance, and they walked right into the center of the capital.
Moammar Gadhafi was in hiding as I went to press, and three of his sons were in custody. Saif al-Islam Gadhafi had apparently been the de facto ruler of the country in recent years, so his capture signaled a checkmate. (Checkmate is a corruption of the Persian “shah maat,” the “king is confounded,” since chess came west from India via Iran). [Editor's Note: This is no longer the case as of Tuesday, August 23. It turns out Saif Gadhafi had not been captured by the rebels
.] FULL POST
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