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U-M Prof Discusses Intifada in Iraq

13. June 2004 • Ari Paul
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Juan Cole, Professor of modern Middle Eastern and South Asian History at the University of Michigan, sheds his insights on the Shiite rebellion against occupation forces in Iraq for In These Times

He writes, “Given the drumbeat of bombings and assassinations, most recently of Izzedine Salim, president of the interim government of Iraq, the country cannot take much more instability. The transfer of sovereignty scheduled for June 30 is not in doubt, since it simply requires some appointments and paperwork. But endowing the new government with any popular support and political reality will be difficult if the country is in flames. By mid-May, the Najaf home of the preeminent mainstream Shiite leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, was being sprayed by machine gun fire from unknown assailants. This raises the specter of his loss to assassination, as well, which could further radicalize the Shiites.”

Juan Cole also scribes a blog Informed Comment.