Juan Cole had an orgasm today when he heard that Doug Feith won't be serving in President Bush's second term. Of course, JC couldn't keep well enough alone, so he went on one of his world-famous rants. Here's a slice of the action:
Having a Likudnik as the number three man in the
Pentagon is a nightmare for American national
security, since Feith could never be trusted to put US
interests over those of Ariel Sharon. In the build-up
to the Iraq War, Feith had a phalanx of Israeli
generals visiting him in the Pentagon and ignored
post-9/11 requirements that they sign in. Israeli
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was a vocal advocate of
a US war against Iraq, who "put pressure" on
Washington about it. (If Sharon wanted a war against
Iraq, why didn't he fight it himself instead of pushing
it off on American boys?)
So, according to the Nutty Professor, the Iraq war is really the result of pressure by Sharon and Israeli generals, who managed to pump false intelligence through that treacherous "Likudnik" (whatever the hell that means), Doug Feith! Beside the fact that this means that Cole and Sharon actually agreed on going to war in Iraq, the fact of the matter is that there's evidence that contradicts the theory (prevalent in conspiracy circles and the Arab world) that the Israelis were really the puppet-masters in this war (leaving aside the variation on the ancient stereotype of Jews pulling the strings behind the scenes, especially to conduct wars). But had JC bothered to care what the Israelis were actually saying, he would have come across, for instance, this story by Barbara Demick in the LA Times (back in Oct 2002!) which quotes, among others, Army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon who said that he "[doesn't] lose any sleep over Iraq" as he believes that "Iraq's offensive abilities have been reduced since the Gulf War." Moshe Arens agreed.
The story goes on to quote Brigadier General Aharon Levran:
"Saddam Hussein, a weakling as he is today, is in
Israel's interests," said Aharon Levran, a brigadier
general in Israel's reserve army and author of a book
about the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Levran, one of the
more outspoken Israeli critics of Bush's policy on
Iraq, says Baghdad is no longer capable of anything
more than a border skirmish.
"A war against Iraq will divert the United States from
its clear-cut campaign against Islamic fanaticism,"
Levran said. "And if it fails, we in Israel will pay the
That sounds more like Ted Kennedy, or the post-flip flop JC! The story goes on to confirm this basic line: "Several high-ranking Israeli military officers have voiced doubts about American and British assessments of the threat posed by Iraq and in particular how quickly Iraq could develop nuclear weapons."
Then there's Barry Rubin. Rubin, who had written a piece in the Jerusalem Post entitled "U.S. Attack on Iraq: Good or Bad for the Jews?" cited three reasons why an attack would not be good for Israel. (This is an assessment that I've heard from several of my Lebanese analyst friends, who are not under the spell of Saidian stupidity). Nevertheless, the LAT story goes on to say, "[t]here is no doubt that Israel would be delighted to see the last of Hussein. The Iraqi leader has been an unwavering archenemy of Israel's, unleashing fierce rhetoric against the "Zionist entity," as he calls it, in nearly every speech." But wait a minute, once again, this was also Cole's position! Back in February of 2003, Cole wrote:
I am an Arabist and happen to know something
serious about Baathist Iraq, which paralyzes me from
opposing a war for regime change in that country.
Furthermore, he shared the exact same concern as most average Israelis:
[T]he possibility that Iraq will develop enough in the
way of weapons of mass destruction to break out of
containment and to attempt to gain popularity by
attacking yet another of its neighbors, perhaps
Turkey or Israel. The aggressive, militaristic nature
of the Saddam Hussein regime makes such a
scenario, however unlikely, at least plausible.
However, Cole seemed to have been more concerned about this than the "Israeli generals" that supposedly were lodging in Feith's office! One wonders what the hell kind of information they were "feeding" him!
In fact, the story shows that the real concern for the Israelis (as it is today for the rest of the world) was Iran. But have no fear, Cole has that covered! True to his stereotype that Jews control US policy, Cole wrote that "if Sharon and AIPAC decide that they need the US government to take military action against Iran, it is likely that the U.S. government will do so."
Sure, why not!? It'll give Sharon an opportunity to send "American boys" to do his dirty deed for him as he supposedly did with Iraq! Only Cole thought that all the sacrifices made in Iraq were worth it!
But putting the insanity aside, Cole is once again freely accusing people of treason and dual-loyalty. Furthermore, he's hiding bigotted stereotypes under a thin veil of political categories ("the Likud" and "Neocons"). He once howled at those who "have attempted to argue that the very term 'Neoconservative' is a code word for derogatory attitudes toward Jews." He contended that "this argument is mere special pleading and a playing of the race cared (sic), however, insofar as only a tiny percentage of American Jews are Neoconservatives, and only a tiny percentage of Neoconservatives are Jews." (Emphasis added.)
Proving that this is a dishonest attempt at backtracking is very easy, since before making that statement, Cole had already written how Pentagon analyst Larry Franklin, who although he himself "is not Jewish" (imagine that!), had "strong association with the predominantly Jewish neoconservatives." (Emphasis added.) Once again, as many times before, Cole is caught with his pants on fire, and his foot in his mouth.
But the funniest part is his conclusion where he "reminds" his readers how not all Jews support the Likud, and not all Jews support the Iraq war. What is this? A fatwa to his faithful followers: "kids, we shouldn't detest and suspect all Jews, just those who support the Likud and the Iraq war! Keep the love!"?
This dangerous dichotomy is one among several that float around in the propaganda of groups like Hizbullah and Hamas. The variation there is that Hizbullah has no beef with Oriental Jews, just the European and Russian ones who "don't belong here." (A more dangerous corollary is that any Israeli who supports the Likud, and thus voted for Sharon, is somehow "fair game" which is another argument floated around by terrorist groups in the ME.) But more than that, to appreciate the preposterous nature of Cole's statement, simply translate it into the American context and you'll have something like "not all Americans deserve to be despised or distrusted, just those who vote Republican (not to mention the 51% who voted Bush) and the majority that supported the Iraq war." (Of course, that latter group included at one point the professor himself!)
You simply gotta love this crazy dude!
Addendum See this old piece by Lee Smith on the subject.