On a personal level, I met Juan Cole on several occasions and I know that he is quite a decent guy, but, and as is the case with so many of my colleagues in the academic circles, I cannot help but be sharply critical when such nonsensical arguments as we find hereare made.
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he idea that Iran is entitled to have a sphere of influence in the Middle East ignores the wishes and aspirations of the majority population in the region. From a religious point of view, the majority of the population in the region is made up of Sunni Muslims, and most of those, while demonstrably religious, may not want to live under theocratic rule, especially when the version under consideration is premised on an extremist interpretation of Shiism. In terms of nationality, the majority population in Middle East is made up of Arabs, Turks and Kurds, and one of whom relish the prospect of Persian domination.
The Obama Administration may have convinced itself that an Iranian military presence in the Syrian Golan Heights is no big deal and might even represent a positive development, one that might eventually force both Iran and Israel to reconsider the nature of their antagonistic relationship. A simple and rational cost-benefit analysis, or so the thinking seems to go in this regard, should in time encourage both sides to agree on some kind of détente, one that could pave the way for formal recognition, and even, cooperation in the not-so-distant future.
NO. HAMAS FATHERS DON’T FIGHT WITH THEIR CHILDREN IN THEIR LAPS, AND PROLIFERATING AIR STRIKES IN PROLONGED CONFLICTS ARE RARELY “TARGETED.”
Writing for Tablet Magazine, Lee Smith makes some valid points. Indeed, photographers operating in Gaza do not seem to have enough freedom of movement to allow them to present a more accurate picture of what is happening on the ground during these tragic times. In fact, international photographers and journalists working in Gaza have as much freedom to move as their colleagues working in those parts of Syria still under Assad control. The see what their appointed “guides” and “fixers” want them to see. And they cannot report everything they see, if they still want to retain “access.” This is a perennial dilemma that confronts all journalists and photographers working in war zones.