While the presidential candidates debate the success of the surge, they fail to address a couple of issues, says Juan Cole, who offers his help: "I want to weigh in as a social historian of Iraq [emphasis mine] on the controversy over whether the 'surge' 'worked.'"
A social historian of Iraq!!!! So that's why he speaks for us all the time. The social historian of Iraq says this about the country he has neither visited nor studied:
Cole answers the question of whether the surge worked: "The troop escalation in and of itself was probably not that consequential." Hear that U.S. troops? Your work is not that consequential, according to the professor. "That the troops were used in new ways by Gen. Petraeus was more important."
Here's where his social historian expertise figures prominently: "But their main effect was ironic. They calmed Baghdad down by accidentally turning it into a Shiite city, as Shiite as Isfahan or Tehran, and thus a terrain on which the Sunni Arab guerrilla movement could not hope to fight effectively."
Get it? Actually the troops made Baghdad a Shiite city. And let's not forget the valiant Mookie militia's contribution to the relative quiet.
Guess my Sunni relatives and Christian friends who never left Baghdad should be notified that they live in a Shiite city. I'll be sure to greet them in Farsi when we talk on the phone tomorrow.
Cole says this, which makes sense, "The problem with this debate is that it has few Iraqis in it." So he comments because he thinks he's Iraqi. Maybe that's why he speaks for us. I give up.