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FEATURING JUAN COLE – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a surprise visit to Baghdad, Iraq on Tuesday. There he met with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and reportedly discussed the US’s aggressive posture toward Iran.

But Iraq didn’t bite, with the Prime Minister saying in a statement, “Iraq is building its relationships with all on the basis of putting Iraq’s interests first,” and that the nation would continue to work with “friends and neighbors, including neighboring Iran.”

The Trump Administration’s foreign policy in the Middle East appears to be centered around isolating and provoking Iran. Many worry that the fears of war with Iran that have been brewing for years under Republican administrations might soon be realized.

Read Juan Cole’s latest article HERE.

Juan Cole is the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He has written several books including ‘The New Arabs: How the Wired and Global Youth of the Middle East Is Transforming It,’ and ‘Engaging the Muslim World.’ He has a column at and his blog, Informed Comment, can be found at His latest book is called Muhammad: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires.

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