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Juan Cole, American Educator ( - )

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I argued that the Bush administration, and the Coalition officials more recently, didn't understand Iraqi society. They thought it was a blank slate, that they could use Iraqis as guinea pigs.~Juan Cole


Society Thought Understand

Did you know that they introduced the 15 percent flat tax on individual and corporate income in Iraq? Something that some politicians very much wanted to push in the United States without success but in Iraq they do it.~Juan Cole


Success You Push

I speak Urdu quite a lot, too, and I read a lot of Persian.~Juan Cole


Speak Persian Read

I also argued before the war that the administration was underestimating Arab nationalism and Iraqi nationalism, that it was not going to be as easy to rule Iraq as they thought.~Juan Cole


War Easy Thought

Take the decision in early March to arrest Muqtada al-Sadr. It was made apparently without knowledge or understanding of the nature of his movement or how widespread it is.~Juan Cole


Nature Knowledge Decision

My main expertise is in the past, but if I have to extrapolate into the future, I would say: no good news any time soon and an obvious exit strategy is not apparent to me.~Juan Cole


Time Future Good

Public interest in most of the Middle East was slight at that time; the Arab-Israeli conflict was all that people were interested in and that was not my specialty.~Juan Cole


Time People Conflict

It's not proper for a professor to go before a class and promote one party or another. That's not academic scholarship.~Juan Cole


Party Scholarship Class

I don't accept the argument of people like David Horowitz that the government should impose some sort of predetermined political balance on academic research.~Juan Cole


Balance Political People

Administering another country is always a very tricky proposition.~Juan Cole


Country Always Tricky

An occupying power has no right to make significant alterations in the character of the occupied society, to change the laws all around, without a strong security reason and so forth.~Juan Cole


Change Power Character

I believe that the American administration of Iraq has been arrogant, has pursued policies that are illegal in international law and has been ignorant and incompetent. I said this very forthrightly to the senators.~Juan Cole


Law American Believe

For instance, I was a little surprised that the Shiites didn't rise up against Saddam and the Baath party across most of the country when the Americans moved in March and April of 2003.~Juan Cole


Party Rise Country

I lived in the Muslim world for 10 years.~Juan Cole


World Lived Muslim

But September 11 marked a big change in the sense that the public was suddenly interested, and as a professor at a public university I felt a responsibility to respond to all of the inquiries about the Islamic world.~Juan Cole


Change Responsibility

I think it's really unfortunate that academics have been sidelined in most important policy debates.~Juan Cole


Important Think Policy

I think that there's been an unfortunate tendency for right wing think tanks to dominate these discussions. They often produce very shoddy studies and policy recommendations, which are nevertheless taken very seriously.~Juan Cole


Think Seriously Policy

Partisan politics has no place in the classroom.~Juan Cole


Politics Place Classroom