Monday, July 2, 2007

A New Blog Covering the Middle East Beat

Juan Cole, Professor of History and Middle East Studies at the University of Michigan and author of the most excellent Informed Comment blog has launched a new project called Informed Comment Global Affairs. He is joined in this ambitious and timely endeavor by Farideh Farhi, Barnett R. Rubin and Manan Ahmed.

Dr. Barnett Rubin is a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations at NYU; and one of the best resources we have when it comes to reading the tea leaves on Afghanistan, and also has a great deal of expertise in African affairs.

He accurately forecast the resurgence of the Taliban last fall, and he is currently working on Lessons Learned, a study group project at CFR that analyses past conflicts in an effort to understand the roots of conflict and how the lessons learned from past conflict can be applied to resolution of current conflict.

Farideh Farhi is an adjunct professor of political Science at the University of Hawaii, and she also conducts independent research. She is one of the foremost authorities on Iran, has written at least one book on the status of religious minorities in the Islamic republic; and if her initial post on gasoline rationing and the resulting gas station riots in Iran are an indication of the caliber of her commentary, she is an invaluable voice to be added to the discussion in the blogosphere, and I look forward to more.

Manan Ahmed, I am not familiar with, and "teh google" reveals not one but two of whom could very possibly be on Dr. Cole's team...go figure...I look forward to learning more about him as he posts to Dr. Cole's new project. For now, it is quite enough for me that Dr. Cole thinks highly enough of him to ask him aboard.

The team is rounded out by Juan Cole, Professor of Middle Eastern History at the University of Michigan, President of the Global Americana Institute, and the author of the most excellent blog on middle eastern affairs, Informed Comment. Frankly, he has been shouldering the load of an entire team of bloggers for quite some time. Educating idiot Americans on the intricacies of the Middle East is lonely duty. It has been kicking my ass for years. It's one of those areas where the stupid is miles wide and fathoms deep. Perhaps he has assembled a team that can bridge the chasm. Here's hoping so and wishing success to the venture...