Leading Iraq expert Juan Cole to discuss crisis January 17 at UC Santa Cruz

SANTA CRUZ, CA--Juan Cole, professor of Middle Eastern history at the University of Michigan and the moderator of the highly acclaimed blog "Informed Comment," will discuss the Iraq war on Wednesday, January 17, at 7 p.m. in the Colleges Nine and Ten Multipurpose Room at UC Santa Cruz. The event is free and open to the public.

Cole's topic is "The Crisis of Iraq as America's Crisis." His visit is sponsored by the Center for Global, International and Regional Studies (CGIRS) and College Nine at UCSC.

Cole is a leading expert on Iraq and the role of the U.S. and the Iraqi resistance in the war. His web site, www.juancole.com/, is a highly regarded source of insight, information, and analysis. He is president of the Global Americana Institute and author of numerous books and articles on Islam and the Middle East, including Sacred Space and Holy War, Colonialism and Revolution in the Middle East: Social and Cultural Origins of Egypt's `Urabi Movement, and Roots of North Indian Shi`ism in Iran and Iraq.

"Juan Cole is a popular speaker who brings knowledge and concern to his analysis of the Middle East, and he has proven to be correct again and again in the face of more than three years of empty promises coming out of Washington," said CGIRS director Ronnie Lipschutz, a professor of politics at UCSC. "He drew a big crowd last year, and we're pleased to bring him back to campus to discuss President Bush's 'way forward' in Iraq."