Juan Some, Lose Some

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Over at Uninformed Comment, Juan Cole has taken on the abstruse matter of Jerusalem in ancient Assyrian texts. Cole's nemesis, Tony Badran of Across the Bay, who knows the topic rather better than Cole, knocks the good professor's carton mortarboard off with a long and learned commentary correcting his myriad errors.

And just to show that boo-boos come in bunches, Cole also wrote: "An outspoken but generally anti-Shiite Bahrain blog by a Sunni is Mahmood's Den." However, Mahmood (who apparently had not heard of Cole's previous uncorroborated accusations against Iraq the Model) protested that he was a Shiite and that "these statements (judgments) struck me as odd and [I] would like to know from the professor (and you if you would) what in this blog suggested that I am anti-Shi'ite and that I am a Sunni?"

And what did Cole do? He furtively corrected the entry without even bothering to issue an apology or to make clear that his original post was wrong. Ah, the things a PhD teaches you.

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  1. Same old Young – when you read a piece that is politically inconvenient, correct the author’s spelling.

  2. Hey Michael, whatever happened to that “underground tunnel” that you and your homie, Walid “Bush Knew” Jumblatt was the site of the bomb that blasted Rafik Hariri? Or is that where you’re blogging from?

    You still haven’t fessed up to the fact that you were wrong about that one. People, glass houses, stones, and all that ….

  3. Michael Young:

    “There is also additional evidence, backed up by a growing number of bomb experts here (alas we have more than our fair share), pointing not to a suicide bombing (please Justin, doubt that fairy story being put out by the Lebanese interior ministry), but to a bomb placed under the road–suggesting a far more complex plot than the one being peddled, quite unconvincingly, by the state.

    “In the end, a duck is a duck…”

    Yes, and in the end, a neocon shill is a neocon shill. The campaign to malign one of the most thoughtful Middle East scholars around, Juan Cole, is at the top of the neocon agendal, and I can see you’re doing your part, but could you please — please — acknowledge that the all-knowing, all-seeing Michael Young ALSO makes errors on occasion — and not minor ones, as cited in your petty attack on Cole, but major ones motivated by ideological assumptions.

  4. hey everybody, it’s Dennis.

  5. Is that the Justin Raimondo? For him and Cole it’s all about the Jews.

    Yesterday Cole wrote the following

    “On September 11, the United States was struck a grievous and unexpected blow by a handful of fanatics. Their stated purpose was to punish the U.S. for its support of Israel’s crackdown on the Palestinians. Khalid Shaik Muhammad, among the masterminds of the operation, had wanted it moved up to April of 2001 to make the point that Israel’s actions of that spring were being punished.”

    http://www.juancole.com/2005/04/sharon-defies-bush-ap-headline-gets-it.html

    Hasn’t Osama bin Laden fully aired his views and don’t they involve more than Cole’s and Raimondo’s obsession, Israel?

    Raimondo is immune to evidence so it’s funny to read him complaining about others’ ideological assumptions.

  6. “And what did Cole do? He furtively corrected the entry without even bothering to issue an apology or to make clear that his original post was wrong. Ah, the things a PhD teaches you.”

    I understand making a note that you’ve corrected an entry since originally posting it, but I don’t understand why this correction would necessitate an apology.

  7. Al Qaeda has a lot of beefs – the Saudi monarchy, the Russians in Chechnya, global capitalism…

    But it’s foolish to pretend the Israel/Palestinian conflict isn’t important to them.

  8. Yes, Ken. Michael Young’s shtick is to be Frank Burns-anal about errors made by his ideological opponents, and extremely generous about those made by those he agrees with.

    I mean seriously, why do think we’re taking a detour into Assyrian historiography on Hit and Run anyway? Any excuse to take a shot at someone on his hit list.

  9. Are libertarians in favor of duels?

    Because, as Charlie Murphy said, with these kinds of face slapping posts, somebody has got to go!

  10. It’s a little disingenuous to pretend you only saw the part of Young’s post that dealt with Cole’s inability to distinguish the Sunni/Shi’a question, joe.

  11. “Yes, and in the end, a neocon shill is a neocon shill. The campaign to malign one of the most thoughtful Middle East scholars around, Juan Cole, is at the top of the neocon agendal, and I can see you’re doing your part…”

    What’s the deal with all the name-calling, and what’s this alleged neocon conspiracy to malign Juan Cole all about?

    Do Young’s apparent errors and lack of corrections somehow make Cole’s less of an issue to anyone? Or should both be considered when reading the opinions of either?

  12. OK, I never read Juan Cole’s blog before, but I did now. It’s certainly partisan, at least as much as are Michael Young’s columns for the Daily Star.

    The report by the UN on the bombing did mention damage to the tops of building surrounding the blast site which is indicative of an underground blast, which lead to speculation there may have been both an underground and above ground weapon used (on an H&R thread a few weeks ago, iirc). The report certainly did not say that an underground explosion was positively ruled out.

    Considering how closely related all middle easterners are, jew and arab alike, I’m a little surprised by how much bile is poured out between bloggers and posters on this topic, much more so than was for the recent presidential election or even the Terry S. thing that got Gary booted for calling Walker a fag or something.

  13. Josh, the point is, these mistakes are all fairly thin gruel, so much so that the post begs the question, why are you bloggins this stuff?

  14. the Terry S. thing that got Gary booted for calling Walker a fag or something
    dammit…I missed that thread.

  15. Joe:
    “Al Qaeda has a lot of beefs – the Saudi monarchy, the Russians in Chechnya, global capitalism…

    But it’s foolish to pretend the Israel/Palestinian conflict isn’t important to them.”

    Global capitalism? When did they say that? Anyway, who’s pretending? I quoted Cole’s blog from yesterday:

    “On September 11, the United States was struck a grievous and unexpected blow by a handful of fanatics. Their stated purpose was to punish the U.S. for its support of Israel’s crackdown on the Palestinians.”

    Cole suggests it’s their main concern. Please stop being disingenuous. Plus, pointing out Cole’s many mistakes doesn’t make one a neocon, people other than neocons can show concern about getting the facts right. Getting at the truth is not thin gruel.

  16. Same old Young – when you read a piece that is politically inconvenient, correct the author’s spelling.

    Politically inconvenient? Hell, that piece was so weak it was politically advantageous. But you can always count on joe to focus on the one little silver lining . . .

  17. The campaign to malign one of the most thoughtful Middle East scholars around, Juan Cole, is at the top of the neocon agendal,

    Juan Cole does a fine job of malign himself, with his shrill commentary. I have to say, I did enjoy the “antiwar.com collection” on the Jewish 9/11 “foreknowledge”.

    M. Young, good post. I’ll have to dig deeper into Tony Badran’s blog. Good stuff.

  18. Juan Cole makes rabid zionists like me look positively moderate. I find him kind of comical.

    (In the 90s I was in favor of deporting Palestinians east of the Jordan. I’ve mellowed a bit.)

  19. “people other than neocons can show concern about getting the facts right.”

    Are implying that neocons have any concern for getting the facts right? Thanks for the good laugh.

    The fact of the matter is Juan Cole made a mistake, he corrected it. In the other hand, we are still waiting for Mr. Young to show some class and address the fact the UN report discredited his wild theory about the under tunnel in Hariri’s assasination.

    Michael, just do what Juan Cole did and admit your mistake. It isn’t hard.

  20. a:

    What quiet lurker said above.

  21. a:

    “people other than neocons can show concern about getting the facts right.”

    Are implying that neocons have any concern for getting the facts right? Thanks for the good laugh.”

    No, just stating that if the facts happen to align with what neocons desire, they’re still facts. Obviously.

    Cole makes a lot of mistakes – usually slanted one way – for an “expert,” which was Young’s point. Also, no one took me up on my point.

  22. Actually, did anyone actually bother to read the UN report beyond the explosion part (which, as quiet lurker correctly observed, did not rule out an underground bomb, even if it did indicate the strong likelihood of a surface explosion)? Far more importantly, the report very strongly indicated Syrian involvement in Hariri’s killing, a view pooh-poohed by several people on this site, though perhaps the UN is now part of the vast neocon conspiracy. Let’s ask John Bolton. Or Juan Cole.

  23. “the report very strongly indicated Syrian involvement in Hariri’s killing”

    I read the report and I don’t see where it “strongly indicated” that. Care to cite the specific text?

    What read in the report is that it blamed the Syrians for creating the political climate that lead to Hariri’s assasination. Isn’t the bush administration boosting that they created a new climate in the middle east as a result of invading Iraq? Then, shouldn’t they share some of the blame for creating the political climate that lead to Hariri’s assasination?

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