My latest essay, which appears today at FrontPage Magazine, fisks University of Michigan historian Juan Cole.
Without a shred of evidence, Cole proposed that the recent clash between the US Navy and Iranian speed boats in the Strait of Hormuz was a "GOP fabrication"; selectively quoted a New York Times blog comment to twist its meaning; and used the propagandistic Iranian media as a straight source.
Fine action from a former president of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA).
Writing in his well-trafficked blog on Friday, University of Michigan Middle East studies professor Juan Cole illustrates the baleful consequences of the media's reliance on Cole and other Middle East studies professors of his ilk to explain the Middle East to Americans: it makes possible the wide dissemination of a distorted, conspiracy-laden picture of that highly volatile region.
For in just a few paragraphs, Cole proposed or implied that:
1. The harassment of U.S. Navy vessels in the Straits of Hormuz by Iranian patrol craft last Sunday was possibly a GOP conspiracy;
2. That at a New York Times blog, an "experienced former naval officer" posted comments that further refuted the Navy's story; and
3. That suspicions voiced in the Iranian press that the videotape was released just ahead of Bush's visit to the region in order to pressure America's Arab allies "to make common cause with Israel against Iran" should be taken seriously.
Let's take these in order:
To continue reading this essay, click here.