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November 11, 2005


Lew Clark

Keep watching! I'm waiting for him to write. "About that Bush lied about WMD's thing. I may have misspoke. I meant to say, Bush was right on about WMD's but America desperately needed him out of office, because being a bad conservative instead of a good liberal is just like lying about important matters."


Cole huh? What...he doesn't link to Chomsky?

JM Hanes

Best = Most Original

ROTFLMAO. All signs are pointing to a great weekend!


I guess Kyoto seemed too far-fetched.


Wilson and Cole seem cut from similar cloth to me. They both are perfectly incredible, but credibility attaches to them because of the appeal of their message.

Phony is one appellation.

I've heard face jock.


Maybe "best" is meant as "most original".

if nominations are still open, you can probably give Cole a run for his money with your claim that Kristof said Plame was outed in 1994.

Tim Lambert

OK, you can't rely on us to click on the link to Tim Blair, but it looks like we can't rely on you to click on the link to Martin Kramer from Tim Blair. Did Cole really say that ObL engineered 9/11 in response to Jenin? Well, no. Cole didn't say that Jenin was a rationale for 9/11 -- he said that ObL wanted to move the attack up in response to Jenin. That's wrong and Kramer nails him for it, but Blair got it wrong too. Maybe it was late and he was tired when he posted. Maybe Tom was too.


What a defense of Cole that was.


Cole didn't say that Jenin was a rationale for 9/11 -- he said that ObL wanted to move the attack up in response to Jenin

As they say in downtown Tehran, "Oy!"

Of course the problem with the above excuse is that Cole himself acknowledged his error, attributing it to fatigue, and later amended it.

So, Cole himself says I screwed up and we still have apologists defending him.

"Your honor, I'd like new counsel please."

Afterword: Revealing statement from Cole two weeks after 9/11 re allegations that al-Qaeda was behind the attacks.

"I've spent 30 years now studying Islam and this scenario [al-Qaeda behind the 9/11 attack] does not sound to me like Islamic fundamentalism. I mean maybe it sounds a little bit like the Applegate people (a group in California who believed they were ascending UFOs for outer space) but it doesn't sound to me like it has anything to do with Islam."


Tim Lambert

Steve doesn't seem to have read all the way to the end of my comment. The next words after the ones he quoted were "That's wrong". Somehow Steve failed to notice this. What's your excuse Steve? Late and tired?


Juan is quite expert at his academic specialty, I believe it is Shia verse, but he, like Wilson, is out of his league. They each have a message very appealing to the anti-war segment(and anti-Bush) of the populace, so even though they are basically charlatans, they have an appreciable, and appreciative audience. The problem is that they do not represent reality.

r flanagan

Re Juan Cole

When the UK association of university
professors passed a stupid resolution to prevent Isreali professors from speaking in the UK Cole wrote a strong post in protest.


What's your excuse Steve? Late and tired?

I stand corrected.

I was wrong and you were correct.



Frim Tim Lambert:

Did Cole really say that ObL engineered 9/11 in response to Jenin? Well, no. Cole didn't say that Jenin was a rationale for 9/11 -- he said that ObL wanted to move the attack up in response to Jenin. That's wrong and Kramer nails him for it, but Blair got it wrong too.

From Tim Blair:

After claiming that Osama bin Laden had engineered September 11 “in response to the Israeli attack on the Jenin refugee camp”—an operation that took place seven months after 9/11

So TL's position is that "engineered" the 9/11 attack can only mean "rationale", but can't mean "timed"?

I want better Cole apologists.


Further re Cole's May 3 post oppposing the
UK's AUT's resolution for a boycott of
two Israeli Universities. Cole specified that his opposition was not just to boycotting "progressive" Israeli academics but to any boycott of any Israeli academics
irrespective of their politics. He linked
to a 3 year earlier article in an academic journal in which he explained his
opposition to all academic boycotts.

Tim Lambert

Actually Tom, my position is that "rationale" means "rationale". Here's Tim Blair, my emphasis:

Cole didn’t misspell a word or post a broken link; he invented a rationale for 9/11 that bin Laden himself couldn’t possibly have claimed

That was in the bit you excerpted. I thought the problem was that you didn't click on Blair's links to find out that Blair's summary was misleading. It now seems that the problem is more serious -- you didn't even read the excerpt you posted.


Juan Cole not wrong about Jenin does not make him right about anything else.

He's just a wrong dude. One way to tell is how every bit of news fits into a paradigm, one which, incidentally, appeals to the anti-war advocates. Do you see him ever breaking message?

I wonder what he has to say about academic freedom in Iran, or Syria, or hey, let's try Palestine.

r flanagan

Dunno. I'll look it up.


Let me guess.

r flanagan

Can't get into his site for some reason so you can keep guessing. However I located a post in which he criticizes the current Iraq Prime Minister for his ties to the murderous Iranian leadership which suggests
an answer. But I'll persevere and try Syria and Palestine too .

BTW I expect your question was just rhetorical but it suits me to respond
factually. I might learn something.


As might I, and thanks. He may well have legitimate standing on academic freedom. Many academics do.


Actually, my question was not so much rhetorical as snark from ignorance and I would be happy, and unsurprised, to be shown wrong. I was trying to point out a hypocrisy of his rather than question his credentials about academic freedom.

It doesn't help much when I try to be clear, does it?


I may not get relevant info and this
post is developing a long grey beard.
However , if you go to Juan Cole's Blog : "Informed Comment" then to the Archives and to May 3 2005 that
post criticizing the British boycott of Isreali academics has a link to his July 26 2002 article in the Journal of Higher Education. There he describes his position in general without commenting on academic freedom in Muslim countries. It contains a lot of anti-Sharon and maybe anti-Isreal comment but in discussing two Isreali academics who were removed from the boards of some British Journals he states they were "Individuals being sanctioned for the policies of their governments ....and that is wrong". That seems intellectually respectable to me i.e. it's my position.


I'm glad to agree that that position of his is honest and intellectually respectable. He is probably even a good teacher, but it is not particularly rare to be delusionary in only one aspect of the whole cognitive process. My quarrel is with his whole analysis of the region and its political, religious, and other cultural traditions and its present reality. It's not as if he is alone in the room, there are plenty of rapt pupils in the class. But, like so many pontiffs, he is awfully taken with his words and ideas, as are they.

The problem: he's wrong.


It now seems that the problem is more serious -- you didn't even read the excerpt you posted.

The problem is more serious than that - I can't take this argument seriously.

We all agree that Kramer's criticism of Cole was on target, and we all agree that Cole admitted his error.

We all agree that the fundamental error was that Cole argued a linkage between Jenin and 9/11 which coulkd not have been true because 9/11 preceded Jenin.

And now I am supposed to denounce Tim Blair for getting it wrong because he used the word "rationale" in summarizing an argument to which he had linked much.

And the notion that we should just give Blair a fair-minded reading - "a rationale for the timing", for example - is just out of bounds.

And I have committed a serious error by not studying Blair's every word and determining that there is no possibility of wilfull misintepretation.

Nonsense. I still want better Cole apologists.


That may well be high water mark. He is intellectually indefensible. He's just as stupid, and just as dangerous, as Joe Wilson.

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