Tuesday, October 16, 2007

More Juan Cole

From now on perhaps I'll put his name into the title of every post which relates to him, so that those of you who are bored of him can just skip them. My reason for risking your boredom is that someday, perhaps, maybe, who knows, I'd like to write a book called "How to Recognize an Antisemite". Rather than just another litany of all the Jew haters, it would start with an attempt to define what an antisemite is in the beginning of the 21st century, what indicators can be defined to recognize them, followed by an attempt to apply the indicators to various candidates. Cole seems to me a reasonable candidate, but not a closed case, so I'm using this blog partially as a tool to line up the evidence for future reference.

Anyway, today he published a post speculating what that Israeli attack in Syria was all about. For lack of information it's mostly innuendo, but some of the innuendo is revealing. For example: There are reasons to question the accuracy of the Israeli story, which at some points has included allegations that there was evidence of enriched nuclear material at the site; such material could only be produced at the end of a long research and construction project, not at the beginning. Yet so far as I can recollect, and it's only a month, after all, we haven't all gone senile yet, there was no Israeli story. That's part of what has everybody so frustrated. I suppose there was an Israeli story presented to the American administration, but they aren't telling either, are they?

Then he goes on to state that The Israelis are trigger-happy and their intelligence on the Arab world is most often sloppy. Well, yes, not really. Apparently the Israeli intelligence on Iraq was as bad as everyone else's, but their intelligence on the Palestinians is demonstrably awesome, their intelligence on the Iranians was accurate many years before anyone else was noticing, their intelligence about long range missiles in Hezbollah's Lebanon was superb, and their intelligence about low-tech Hezbollah tunnels two miles north of the Israeli border was abysmal.

Cole then hosts a retired CIA analyst, who doesn't know any more than the rest of us, but does tell how Israeli planes kept the Saudis out of a previous war, and thus saved lives on both sides, by being arrogant.

Finally, the comments (remember, Cole censors his comments section, and if he doesn't like your tone or content you don't get published) contain a number of allegations about how Israel acted against international law. Since Israel and Syria are legally at war, I'm not certain how this might be true.

1 comment:

Lydia McGrew said...

I won't read Cole. My blood pressure won't stand it. :-)

But I've commented here before on American paleoconservatives who hang out all too close to the Cole crowd. I had commented on another blog that American paleoconservatives tend to be a) anti-Israel and b) ideologically isolationist. Both (fairly mildly worded) statements were questioned.

Now just today, on the same blog, comes the follow phenomenon: A paleocon commentator posts on the question of the Islamic threat in America. His overall point is that America needs to do something about its Muslim immigration situation. So far, so good, as far as I'm concerned. _But_ he can't just say this. No, he has to _preface_ it with, of all odd things, an obsequious reference to Walt and Mearsheimer and a strong statement about how "angry" American conservatives should be about how the "Israel Lobby" (capitalized) has gotten us into so many Middle Eastern quagmires. Now, what in the name of goodness does such a preface have to do with the question of Muslim immigration? Well, it's all rather roundabout and probably would be tedious to explain what the connection apparently is in his mind.

But I now have a new marker for a paleoconservative hysterical isolationist: A paleoconservative hysterical isolationist is someone who can't talk about the problems with Islam in the United States without first bowing to Walt and Mearsheimer on the evils of the Israel Lobby.

And I have to admit--there's something pretty weird about that.