Middle East studies in the News
Michigan Professor: Ariana Grande Knows More About Counterterrorism Than Mattis [on Juan Cole]
by Madeleine Weast
A University of Michigan professor claimed Wednesday that pop singer Ariana Grande knows more about counterterrorism operations against the Islamic State than Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
Juan Cole wrote an op-ed for the Nation claiming that Grande—who once said she hated America and Americans—understands how to counter the Islamic State better than Mattis, the Washington Times reported. The op-ed stemmed from the ISIS terror attack that killed 22 people at Grande's concert in Manchester, England.
The pop singer is set to hold a benefit concert on June 4 featuring Coldplay, Katy Perry, Pharrell, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, and Niall Horan.
"The strategy of annihilation is sort of like fighting forest fires with gasoline hoses," Cole wrote, criticizing Mattis' approach to fighting terrorist groups.
Cole, a history professor and director of Middle Eastern and North African Studies, wrote that Mattis does not care how ISIS rose to power. The Pentagon chief, according to Cole, "seems to think that a few slick tweets or videos in cyber space are the problem."
"The fact is that all the ISIL fighters in Iraq and Syria have siblings and cousins, and simply annihilating them creates a whole slew of new feuds with the United States," Cole wrote, using another acronym for ISIS.
Cole asserted that Grande, unlike Mattis, understands that the best counterterrorism effort to undermine ISIS is inclusiveness.
"The second-most-followed person on Instagram stressed that her concert was about inclusiveness and that would not change," Cole wrote. "Her sentiments, the essence of counterinsurgency when it comes to ISIL's polarizing plot, were shared by Manchester Muslims, who marched in solidarity with the victims."Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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