Juan Cole, apparently recognizing that people are starting to notice that he makes some comments that are, to put it bluntly, rather loony.
Today he comes out and announces to his readership "there is no sinister cabal" and then goes on to conclude ... pretty much the exact opposite:
But because there are no wealthy, organized, well-connected lobbies on the other side of AIPAC or the Cuban-American National Foundation (e.g.), US government policy ends up being unbalanced and often irrational on those issues. And, AIPAC functions as a foreign agent in the US without having to register as such, and some of its major officers clearly have been deeply involved in espionage for Israel for years. The last two points are uncontestable. Is this really a situation that serves the American people? Franklin, the "go-to" man at the Pentagon for then Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, was trying to get up a US war against Iran, and was soliciting AIPAC's help. We already know that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has tried as hard as he could to get the US into a war against Tehran. Do the rest of us, who already have one military occupation of a Middle Eastern country we're not comfortable with, have any say at all in this? Don't we need a PAC for Middle East Peace that could begin offsetting AIPAC, the War PAC? If the pro-Israeli lobby or the Israeli prime minister want wars in the Middle East, why don't they fight them themselves? By the way, AIPAC has for several years been attempting to get Congress to pass a law that would put it in charge of the Middle East professors, like myself, and in a position to punish our universities financially if any of us criticize it or Israeli policy. The most dangerous thing about key elements of the Zionist lobby is that they really do want to gut the US First Amendment when it comes to Israeli interests.
I hope everyone who reads this will consider writing their Congressional representatives and senators and asking them to work to see that AIPAC is made to register as the agent of a foreign power, given the repeated pattern whereby it acts as such.
And then earlier, he declares the following while more or less favorably citing an analysis by Justin Raimundo:
But because Raimundo pulls no punches, he forces us to consider the degree to which Congressional foreign policy on the Middle East in particular has become virtually captive to the Zionist lobby (just as US policy toward Cuba is captive to the Cuban-American community and its lobby). He clearly goes too far, but how far should an analyst of this case go?
Raimundo argues the following:
This case has received relatively little publicity in relation to its importance. It isn't just the fact that, for the first time in recent memory, Israel's powerful lobby has been humbled. What is going on here is the exposure of Israel's underground army in the U.S. - covert legions of propagandists and outright spies, whose job it is to not only make the case for Israel but to bend American policy to suit Israel's needs (and, in the process, penetrate closely-held U.S. secrets).
The Raimundo analysis then ends on the following conspiratorial note:
Israel's legendary Mossad intelligence service, with its reputation for both efficiency and ruthlessness, reportedly shadowed the 9/11 hijackers on American soil as they prepared to launch the biggest terrorist attack in our history. Multiple sources reported a large-scale surveillance operation directed at U.S. government buildings, including offices of the Drug Enforcement Agency, the FBI, U.S. courthouses, and some military bases and research facilities. The AIPAC spy cell in Washington was the brain, and the "Israeli art students" - whose movements shadowed the hijackers in Florida and elsewhere - were the arms and feet of a subterranean creature whose dimensions we are only just beginning to discover.
It is interesting to note that the only point to which Juan explains his disagreement (other than that it wasn't "nuanced" enough for him) with Raimundo is the idea that Satterfield was somehow involved in the spy scandal. This is, to put it bluntly, pure conspiracy twaddle, regardless of the implications of the AIPAC spy scandal. Any national Democrat want to run on this crap?
The problem with Juan's statements - whether or not he buys into Raimundo's fever swamps - is that while he says that there isn't a sinister cabal, if you look at what he actually believes as far as Israeli involvement in formulating US policy is you're going to run into exactly that. Keep in mind that this is the same guy who once favorably cited a "source" (conveniently framed as "someone") who wrote the following:
Were there ever to be a serious investigation of the Israeli infiltration of the Pentagon (unlikely, of course), one would certainly have to examine Bernard Lewis's role here.
As Martin Kramer (also a Mossad asset, per Cole) noted at the time:
(Left-wing nuts call Lewis an Israeli agent; the right-wingers still think he's MI5.)
Indeed. And since Cole has apparently also worked Daniel Pipes into his conspiracy, it'll be interesting to see just how many ppl he wants to argue are more or less unregistered agents of the Israeli government who control our Middle East policy.
How utterly despicable.