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Juan Cole, The People's Oracle?:

Juan Cole thinks the following is clever enough to post twice:

"The Israel lobbies take their cue on what is good policy from the Israeli government and the Likud Party. [emphasis added] So, US Israel policy is driven by . . . the Israeli rightwing. That is why Congress voted 309 to five to support Israel's war on the people of Gaza, with 22 abstaining."

As a preliminary matter, let's note that Juan Cole apparently conflates the positions of the "Israeli government" and the "Likud Party," even though the Likud Party is not in the current government, with the governing coalition dominated by the centrist Kadima Party and the center-left Labor Party. Public opinion polls show that almost the entire Jewish Israeli public--94%, a highly unusual consensus given Israel's famously fractious politics--supports the Gaza operation.* So any Congressman voting to support Israel is supporting a consensus position in Israel, not "the Israeli right-wing." Not to mention that Egypt, Jordan, and the Abbas government are none-too-subtly rooting for Israel to humiliate Hamas, and that Israel's actions are perfectly consistent with U.S. policy, supported by both parties, regarding how to deal with terrorism--see Afghanistan, war in.

Second, Cole and like minded-people (e.g., Glen Greenwald, who quotes Cole with effusive praise, has been particularly insistent that public opinion and U.S. policy regarding Israel wildly diverge) simply refuse to acknowledge that, while pro-Israel forces have a lot of influence, the primary reason for their success is that Israel is overwhelmingly popular among the American public, and the Palestinian leadership is overwhelmingly not: "Overall favorable ratings of Israel in February 2008 were 71%... By contrast, just 14% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Palestinian Authority, while 75% have an unfavorable view.... The PA is rated just above North Korea (12%) and Iran (8%) as the least popular countries." Assumedly, Hamas, as a U.S.-designated terrorist organization responsible for horrific bus bombings and the like, is even less popular than the PA. More relevant data is available at the above link. Even if a particular Israeli action, like the one is Gaza, meets with some ambivalence from the American public, there is, to say the least, little to be gained by a Congressman from taking a position that can be portrayed in a 30-second t.v. ad as pro-Hamas.

I suppose it's easy enough, hanging around in left-wing circles in Ann Arbor and attending MESA conventions, and preaching to the choir on one's blog, to delude oneself into believing that the people's will is being frustrated by the nefarious "Israel lobbies," and that "the people" really agree with one's own extreme anti-Israel views. But delusion is what it is. Here's more from Commentary's Contentions blog.

*[Aside: if it was a "war on the people of Gaza," as Cole hysterically claims, the casualty count would be at least hundred times what it is; how do all the people who claim that Israel is engaging in "genocide" and what-have-you explain why there have been only about five hundred civilian casualties (according to Palestinian sources; the Israeli military estimates no more than 250) out of a population of over a million? Not that Cole has shown himself to be a clear thinker on Israel-related matters in the past.]

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. More on Public Opinion on Israel/Gaza:
  2. Juan Cole, The People's Oracle?:
Cardozo'd (www):
Wow, Americans don't like Arabs, particularly terrorist Arabs, thanks for the observation?
1.15.2009 10:07am
Cardozo'd (www):
The page you took these stats from is questionable at best. Not only does the text you cite not have a link to it, but the polls themselves obviously don't help anything. First of all, they are asking Americans to compare Israel to Arabs, not what is going on there, not about Israel or Arab actions, but just compare the two peoples...doing that here in America gets an easy answer because we fear Arabs as a country no matter what. On top of that, non of it comes after what is going on now in Gaza.

Plus, all the "sympathy" polls are less than 100%, in fact most of the "sympathy" polls are more around 50% for Israel, yet American politicians vote 100% with Israel...that is the definition of not being in line with the American viewpoint.

But as you say, "delusion is what it is"
1.15.2009 10:18am
davidbernstein (mail):
Overall favorable ratings of Israel in February 2008 were 71%... By contrast, just 14% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Palestinian Authority, while 75% have an unfavorable view.
.The statistics I quoted are not "asking Americans to compare Israel to Arabs." The 71% and 14% figures are absolute, not relative. In fact, the Palestinians come out better when people are asked who they support in the conflict than when they are asked how fond they are of the P.A.
1.15.2009 10:30am
sg:
Attacking Juan Cole concerning Israel is like shooting fish in a barrel, but I guess someone has to do it. Good job.
1.15.2009 10:35am
Brian Mac:
Someone should show this post to Olmert. It'd save him a bundle on his phone bills.
1.15.2009 10:39am
Phil Byler (mail):
Whenever I read "Israel lobbies" in a piece purporting to discuss why the United States takes the positions it does, I stop reading. One result is that I don't waste my time considering what Juan Cole has to say about the subject of Israel.
1.15.2009 11:06am
Chris-guest (mail):
Israel is overwhelmingly popular among the American public, and the Palestinian leadership is overwhelmingly not

But these two concepts aren't comparable - few of the many Westerners protesting Israel's actions here are defending the Palestinian leadership, but rather Palestinian civilian population. Now you can argue that the civilian population is culpable by virtue of their not having prevented the ascendancy of Hamas, or that by killing civilians they will be more likely to turn on the Hamas leadership (though that argument has been pretty effectively neutralised), but to pretend that protesters are supporting Hamas is simply disingenuous.
1.15.2009 11:20am
ALANSTORM (mail):
Mr. Cole has not shown himself to be a clear thinker on ANY matter. I would have been shocked if he displayed any coherence on this subject.
1.15.2009 11:24am
DangerMouse:
...few of the many Westerners protesting Israel's actions here are defending the Palestinian leadership, but rather Palestinian civilian population.

I don't think Americans are supportive of the Palestinian people all that much either, given that they were recorded cheering the 9/11 attacks.
1.15.2009 11:25am
Blue:
Juan Cole isn't wrong, he's just on the other side. His lies and misrepresentations are quite intentional.
1.15.2009 11:28am
Steve H:
all the people who claim that Israel is engaging in "genocide"

Who are "all" these people claiming that Israel is engaging in genocide?

And why isn't an ongoing military attack on a civilian population, killing hundreds of them and causing enormous damage to their property, considered a war on those people?

And there is no way you can credibly deny that there is a significant body of people in this country zealously lobbying for Israel and almost unquestioningly supporting Israel's actions (or unquestioning opposition to Israel's critics) without really considering how they affect our own country? Have you, um, read your own posts lately?

In the past couple of weeks, I've read lots of stuff here about how it's stupid to talk about "proportionality", how right it is for Israel to attack Gaza, how it's okay to devalue foreign lives because governments usually limit welfare to their own citizens, etc. Yet I don't believe there has been nearly as much posting on whether it is in the United States' own interest to support Israel's invasion.

When the zealotry gets this bad, it's really hard to believe anything you say about Israel.
1.15.2009 11:31am
Yankev (mail):

let's note that Juan Cole apparently conflates the positions of the "Israeli government" and the "Likud Party," even though the Likud Party is not in the current government, with the governing coalition dominated by the centrist Kadima Party and the center-left Labor Party.
In certain circles, the label "Likkudnik" does not mean a member or supporter of the former Herut party, but rather anyone who holds a more pro-Israel view than the person using the label.
1.15.2009 11:34am
JK:
Am I correct that you were comparing opinion polling of "Israel" to "the Palestinian Authority" and "Hamas." It's possible that I misunderstood, or the wording was simply not clear, but that is the case, please grow up stop using childish deception tactics. The only conclusion I've come to on the Israel/Palestine issue is that the true believers on both sides (and I mean American talking heads, not the actual parties), have very little interest in the truth, and are mainly concerned with scoring points.
1.15.2009 11:37am
Yankev (mail):

but to pretend that protesters are supporting Hamas is simply disingenuous.


Who are "all" these people claiming that Israel is engaging in genocide?

Demonstrators in San Francisco among other places. See http://zombietime.com/gaza_war_protest/

Also Fort Lauderdale. And New York. And London.
1.15.2009 11:39am
Cardozo'd (www):

The statistics I quoted are not "asking Americans to compare Israel to Arabs." The 71% and 14% figures are absolute, not relative

I was going by the other stats that did compare, since there was no source for the cited stats...I didn't credit them.
1.15.2009 11:42am
davidbernstein (mail):
JK, could you please specify your basis for accusing me of "childish deception tactics," so I can determine whether you are a troll to be banned, or just someone with low reading comprehension?
1.15.2009 11:44am
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
Juan Cole is a caricature of a scholar. He can't even get basic facts about the history of the Byzantine Empire or the English language.
1.15.2009 11:53am
Hoosier:
Since John "Call Me Juan" has re-posted his insights, I'll take the liberty of repeating mine:

Take a look at transcripts of his appearances on The News Hour. Compare them to what he writes on his blog.

Two possible conclusions present themselves:

1) The person who writes the blog is an imposter;

2) The person who appears on TV is an imposter.

I can't think of any other way of explaining the discrepancy between the two.

Perhaps David B. has some insights. But I am completely at a loss.
1.15.2009 11:56am
Hoosier:
Bill Poser
Juan Cole is a caricature of a scholar. He can't even get basic facts about the history of the Byzantine Empire or the English language.

Or his, y'know . . . name.
1.15.2009 11:57am
Hoosier:
Steve H.

And why isn't an ongoing military attack on a civilian population, killing hundreds of them and causing enormous damage to their property, considered a war on those people?

Before I answer, can you clafiry the distinction between "a war on . . ." and "a war with . . ."?

There are two differnet questions, from my reading of your question, that you might be asking. So I would like to respond on point. Thanks.
1.15.2009 12:01pm
anomie:
1.15.2009 12:05pm
Steve H:

Before I answer, can you clafiry the distinction between "a war on . . ." and "a war with . . ."?


Not really. I don't think there's a clear distinction.
1.15.2009 12:06pm
PLR:
Kadima was centrist in conception, but if it ever was centrist in practice it ceased to be so after Ariel Sharon was put to bed.

And I haven't seen any commentators at this site (meaning the mods) who can match Cole for the depth and breadth of his experience in Middle Eastern affairs (other than perhaps db, who prefers to be disingenuous).
1.15.2009 12:18pm
John Burgess (mail) (www):
Hoosier: I don't get your point on Cole's name. When I met him some 20 years ago, he explained that he was given the name Juan in honor of a family friend. Is there something here you know?
1.15.2009 12:21pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Cole makes a fairly common mistake which is that the Israeli political spectrum between "Left" and "Right" is a spectrum between peace and war. While those on the far left (Meretz, Hadash) certainly favor peace, an those on the far right (YB, NUP) favor very harsh measures, the real issue is driven by the question of Jewish supremacy in Israel. Should Israel be a state for all her citizens or primarily for the Jewish ones? There are Jewish Supremicists (for lack of a better word) in most of the Jewish parties, but their influence shows up unevenly in that spectrum, but most parties have such views to some extent (Likud has a better track record than Labor in fairness towards Arabs generally). Is Israel a Jewish Homeland or an Israeli homeland? The answer IMO must include the latter with full equal rights (including the right to bring spouses into the country, and the actual ability to purchase property that Jews can purchase, provided equivalent financial conditions are met, which they often can't do despite Israeli Supreme Court cases to the contrary) REGARDLESS of the view on the former issue. This is even mandated in the Israeli constitution.

The real problem is that the Israeli Arabs are treated as "The demographic time bomb" by the far-right and the center-left alike. Until this changes a lot of other problems are intractable.
1.15.2009 12:41pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
But my main point is that the Cole projects more general left-right terms onto Israel's politics which don't really make any sense.
1.15.2009 12:42pm
Leaden Cast:
It is significant that Israel continues to ban the press from Gaza. Accordingly, appraisals of the assault on Gaza, whether it be a war on the Palestinians generally or on Hamas specifically, are difficult to evaluate objectively. Nevertheless, what is undeniable is the fact that Gaza has been under a blockade for quite some time. Non-combatants cannot flee across the border. Indeed, reports indicate that Palestinians who have been told to leave their homes by the IDF have subsequently been fired upon. These reports do give new and vibrant life to the old cliche "shooting fish in a barrel."

To provide some balance to the reporting on this blog, I offer a report from Gaza I received via an email forward today:

Israelis 'shot at fleeing Gazans'

Palestinian civilians in Gaza


Claims have been received by the BBC and an Israeli human rights group that Israeli troops have fired on Gaza residents trying to escape the conflict area. Israel has strongly denied the allegations. BBC journalists in Gaza and Israel have compiled detailed accounts of the claims.

Some Palestinian civilians in Gaza say Israeli forces shot at them as they tried to leave their homes - in some cases bearing white flags.

One testimony heard by the BBC and human rights group B'tselem describes Israeli forces shooting a woman in the head after she stepped out of her house carrying a piece of white cloth, in response to an Israeli loudhailer announcement.

The Israeli military has dismissed the report as "without foundation".

The BBC has spoken to members of another family who say they are trapped in their home by fighting and have been shot at when they tried to leave to replenish dwindling water and food supplies, even during the three-hour humanitarian lull.

Israel is denying access to Gaza for international journalists and human rights monitors, so it is not possible to verify the accounts.

B'tselem said it had been unable to corroborate the testimony it had received, but felt it should be made public.

[Editor: rest of this extremely long post deleted for length. This doesn't do much for B'tselem's credibility, passing on completely unsubstantiated rumors.]
1.15.2009 1:04pm
Hoosier:
John ("Juan"?) Burgess

Sorry that my point wasn't clear. I probably assume subconsciously that everyone is familiar with the vast corpus of my writings on VC. And has kept records on all of my lines of argument. And running biases.

To answer the second part of your post first: I have nothing to say about what he told you. But his given name does appear to be "John."

So what's the point? Not that people cannot use nicknames, even professionally. But that there are two Juan Coles. His intellectual two-facedness is remarkable: I honestly cannot think of another academic colleague whose analysis varies so radically, depending upon his audience. There are many bad things one can say about my profession. Most of them probably true.

But an unwillingness to share one's (strong) opinions with anyone who will listen? That isn't really a problem. Except for Cole.

I don't know why he is now Juan. Or why he published at the start of his career, as "R. Cole." Nor do I think it matters. Nor do I care.

I just use it as a shorthand pars pro toto for Prof. Cole.

Place me into that "Won't Get Fooled Again" category. Several years ago, I was speaking with a colleague whose field is Middle Eastern history. I mentioned that I considered my thinking on the region to be more or less along the line of Cole's. He was happy to hear this.

And then he told me about Cole's blog.

Since then, I have made it a practice to assume that Cole is not being forthright about anything that he says. He is not an honorable man.
1.15.2009 1:08pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
'And why isn't an ongoing military attack on a civilian population, killing hundreds of them and causing enormous damage to their property, considered a war on those people?'

I do consider it a war on those people, who are enemies of me and mine. Go get 'em.

I see that the Hamas 'negotiator' said today that Hamas and Egypt are close to an 'agreement' which they will then use as a basis to 'negotiate' with the Israelis.

Translation: We want to negotiate how many Jews we get to murder.

My position is: no more dead Jews. So, no negotiations with Jew-haters or on behalf of Jew-haters.
1.15.2009 1:09pm
JK:
First, I did say it was possible I misunderstood, but it appeared to me that you were comparing the US opinion of the nation-state of Israel to the Palestinian Government. Clearly those are not comparable entities, governments will always have lower approval ratings then national identities. Considering these numbers comparable is sloppy at best, but given the background of discourse on this topic (Including Mr. Cole, who I agree is not a reliable source of information) it seems more likely it is an intentional distortion.

In response to wanting to ban me, I've been reading and posting on this site for probably six or so years, and have for the most part enjoyed it. The site has certainly gone down hill in the last year or so, but I'm still shocked that I would be banned for stating that, in my opinion and if I understood correctly, your use of statistics was childish. It's truly sad that what use to be a wonderful web site has come to this, and just underlines my feelings that intelligent discourse on this subject is nonexistent.
1.15.2009 1:26pm
davidbernstein (mail):
nation-state of Israel to the Palestinian Government. Clearly those are not comparable entities, governments will always have lower approval ratings then national identities.
Well, now I at least understand your point, but I don't understand why you don't think that "israel" is analogous, in a survey question, to the "palestinian authority."
1.15.2009 1:31pm
Mike 'Ralph' Smith:

Juan Cole thinks the following is clever enough to post twice:

"The Israel lobbies take their cue on what is good policy from the Israeli government and the Likud Party. [emphasis added] So, US Israel policy is driven by . . . the Israeli rightwing. That is why Congress voted 309 to five to support Israel's war on the people of Gaza, with 22 abstaining."

As a preliminary matter, let's note that Juan Cole apparently conflates the positions of the "Israeli government" and the "Likud Party," even though the Likud Party is not in the current government, with the governing coalition dominated by the centrist Kadima Party and the center-left Labor Party.


Why would you think he conflates the two? If I wrote "The Israel lobbies take their cue on what is good policy from David Bernstein and Eugene Volokh" would you suggest I think you and Volokh are one and the same? It's this blatant mischaracterization of people you disagree with that I find most repugnant about your writings.
1.15.2009 1:50pm
Xanthippas (mail) (www):

Even if a particular Israeli action, like the one is Gaza, meets with some ambivalence from the American public, there is, to say the least, little to be gained by a Congressman from taking a position that can be portrayed in a 30-second t.v. ad as pro-Hamas.


How is that? Oh:


...delude oneself into believing that the people's will is being frustrated by the nefarious "Israel lobbies," and that "the people" really agree with one's own extreme anti-Israel views


Huh. It seems to me that people like David Bernstein are exactly why it would be so easy to paint someone who doesn't vote for the resolution as "pro-Hamas."
1.15.2009 2:03pm
Ken Arromdee:
Why would you think he conflates the two? If I wrote "The Israel lobbies take their cue on what is good policy from David Bernstein and Eugene Volokh" would you suggest I think you and Volokh are one and the same?

He said that Cole conflates the positions of the government and Likud. If you wrote that statement it would be fair to say that you think David and Eugene share similar positions.
1.15.2009 2:04pm
Professor Woland (mail):
[commenter banned for a string of insults: "intellectual dishonesty" "reflexive and inflammatory" "Stalinistic" "intellectual dishonesty" "astonishingly simplistic and naive" "racist"]
1.15.2009 2:13pm
Brianrw00 (mail):
I'm just wondering why anyone wastes time reading someone who is as brazenly disingenuous as Cole is.
1.15.2009 2:19pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
Is Israel a Jewish Homeland or an Israeli homeland? The answer IMO must include the latter with full equal rights (including the right to bring spouses into the country, and the actual ability to purchase property that Jews can purchase, provided equivalent financial conditions are met, which they often can't do despite Israeli Supreme Court cases to the contrary) REGARDLESS of the view on the former issue. This is even mandated in the Israeli constitution.


Those are all interesting points that you raise. I have to admit that I'm not familiar with the particulars as far as any legal distinctions that Israel may make -- if any - between Jewish and non-Jewish Israelis (or if there is any widespread accepted discrimination against non-Jewish Israelis that contrary to Israeli law). I have seen the word "apartheid" thrown about by some Palestinian supporters while Israeli supporters have pointed out the number of ways that non-Jewish Israelis (mainly in reference to Arabs) have equal rights and how those rights are generally better than is found in any of the other Middle Eastern countries. Does someone have an objective source that lists any legal distinctions that Israel makes of its citizens in terms of their rights under the law -- assuming that is indeed the case - based on whether they are Jewish or not (assuming that is indeed the case)?
1.15.2009 2:49pm
Steve H:

I do consider it a war on those people ...


See, Harry, it's okay for you to say that, because you are wholeheartedly endorsing Israel's actions.

But if you said the same thing and weren't endorsing Israel's actions, Professor Bernstein and his loyal followers would paint you as an idiot.
1.15.2009 3:45pm
UnintelligibleLiberal (mail):

**Cole adopts the loony-left view that Israel somehow pushed the U.S. into war with Iraq, apparently through a Likud/Jewish neocon conspiracy. Again, he seems to think that the policy was so stupid and evil that there must be a conspiracy behind it (neglecting the obvious fact that, even if one accepts his view of the Iraq war, governments around the world do stupid and evil things all the time without any provocation from "Likudniks" or other nefarious conspirators). The only evidence he cites to support this outlandish view is this article, which is not only a dubious source, but doesn't actually support his point.


Coupled with your past post, all I have really gathered is you like to call Cole names. Don't you think it would be sufficient to note that he views the conflict from an Arabist's perspective and that certain biases are likely to appear in his analysis? I think your hysterical reaction to him stains your own analysis.

I do agree that Cole overreaches on his point about the dichotomy of Israeli politics into left and right. Also, Israeli public support for the current Gaza operation is pretty persuasive that it's not just "crazy Likudniks" who are supporting military confrontation with Hamas. On the other hand, initial public support for military confrontation may not be a good indicator of its wisdom. (I.e. I believe initial public support for the Iraq War far outweighed initial public support for WWI).

Also, the comment about "preaching to the choir on one's blog to delude oneself was pretty precious. Irony anyone?
1.15.2009 3:47pm
Yankev (mail):

This doesn't do much for B'tselem's credibility, passing on completely unsubstantiated rumors.

Then again, neither did offering to provide fake cover stories for International Solidarity Movement stooges trying to inflitrate Israel to give cover to violent protesters, as Lee Kaplan reported when he infiltrated an ISM training session in Berekely a few years ago.
1.15.2009 4:11pm
Yankev (mail):
einf-- Israel was founded pursuant to a UN Resolution that carried out an earlier League of Nations mandate that there be established an ethnically (as opposed to religiously) JEWISH state in the region known as Palestine. Israel's constitution guaranties equal right to employment, to own property (although this right has been withheld from Jewish citizens seeking to live in given areas of the country), to vote, access to court, practice professions, etc. regardless of ethnicity or religion. AFAIK, the only legal distinction is that Jewish immigrants -- including converts -- are eligible for immediate citizenship, as are defined non-Jewish members of their family. (I believe the latter were added in response to the large number of Jewish immigrants from the FSU.) Earlier threads at VC have catalogued other states that recognize a similar right of return for descendants of its ethnic citizens, including I believe Ireland and Japan but I would have to check the VC archives and do not care to do that at present.

An ethnically Arab state called Transjordan was established earlier, during the British Mandate, in the part of the Mandate that lay west of the Jordan River, also geographically known as Palestine. This state invaded Israel in 1948 and annexed the lands east of the Jordan River that the UN had set aside for a separate, second Arab state. Shortly after the invasion, Transjordan changed its name to Jordan.

You have expressed concern from time to time about the recent banning of two Arab parties from Israel's legislature, which you feel is racist. You overlook that other Arab parties are not banned, and that the two in question were banned only after party leaders met with countries or terrorist organizations that were conducting active violent campaigns against Israel, and that these leaders expressed their wishes for Israel to be defeated and in other ways gave aid and comfort to the enemy. Few countries, including the US, would tolerate that. In fact, you will find that the US Constitution defines it as treason.
1.15.2009 4:28pm
davidbernstein (mail):
Also, the comment about "preaching to the choir on one's blog to delude oneself was pretty precious. Irony anyone?
Unlike Cole, I allow comments from people who disagree with me.
1.15.2009 4:28pm
David Warner:
"Unlike Cole, I allow comments from people who disagree with me."

Exactly. The only irony here is one of Cole's lackeys suggesting that someone else avoids criticism, especially when that someone's blog features comment threads peppered with posts from Cole's lackeys themselves. Not to mention the fact that those threads also enjoy a wealth of intelligent dissent that Cole would kill for if he were half the man Bernstein is.

The sad thing is that as far as I can tell Cole's fame/influence grew directly out of his execrable blog. Such is what passes for brilliance among our present intelligentsia. Where do we order a new one?
1.15.2009 10:15pm
LM (mail):
einhverfr,

The real problem is that the Israeli Arabs are treated as "The demographic time bomb" by the far-right and the center-left alike. Until this changes a lot of other problems are intractable.

The Israeli Arabs may well be a demographic time bomb. Regardless, like most countries, Israel could treat its ethnic minorities better, even if most of them are Jewish and aren't really a minority. But what does any of that have to do with Gaza, Hamas, Juan Cole?
1.16.2009 1:04am
LM (mail):
Here's what we know:

Juan Cole, history professor.
Hoosier? Same.
Juan Cole, deceptive name controversy.
Hoosier? Admits he's not even from Indiana.

In fact, Hoosier's from Chicago. Juan Cole? Northwestern grad. Neither of them has ever denied palling around with William Ayers, and they've been similarly and curiously silent about their contacts with Rod Blagojavich, Jeri Ryan, Buddy Ryan, Jim Lindgren, REO Speedwagon, The Buckinghams... I could go on.

Do I have to ask whether anyone's ever actually seen them together?
1.16.2009 2:38am
LM (mail):
(BTW, when a war historian comes up with a phony name like "Hoosier," I think he's asking to be caught.)
1.16.2009 2:43am
PlugInMonster:
Juan Cole is a Nazi. There I said it. What was on everyone's minds.
1.16.2009 3:04am
Hoosier:
LM
(BTW, when a war historian comes up with a phony name like "Hoosier," I think he's asking to be caught.)


[As I look around the boards for a "war historian". Anyone? Hello?]

Hoosier? Admits he's not even from Indiana.

If by that you mean "admits he's from Indiana," then I'll cop to the charge.

In fact, Hoosier's from Chicago.
But he got here as fast as he could.

Do I have to ask whether anyone's ever actually seen them together?

Don't be silly, LM. Everyone knows that I am not Juan Valdez-Cole.

I am Iron Man.
1.16.2009 4:54am
LM (mail):
Hoosier, you're not a war historian? I guess I misunderstood.
1.16.2009 5:25am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
lm:

Hoosier, you're not a war historian?


It's a little tough to keep track of all the things he's not. For example, he's also not a history teacher. More interested in fiction, I think. Which enhances the irony when I read words like these:

Since then, I have made it a practice to assume that Cole is not being forthright about anything that he says. He is not an honorable man.
1.16.2009 9:03am
Hoosier:
LM
Hoosier, you're not a war historian? I guess I misunderstood.

Yes, you did. That was just a list of fields that are on the outs now, with military taking the "Best in Show" award. I sometimes teach a Vietnam War course, but that's as far as I go into Military.

Did you think I work in all of those fields? No doubt my almost ostentatious brilliance led you astray. But, alas, even I have a field of specialization.

In fact, by popular demand, many of my lectures are on the Tube, starting here.

But citing a post from October 2007? This allows for only two possible conclusions:

1) You have an obsessive man-crush on me;

2) You are also jbg.

[NB: #2 logically implies #1.]
1.16.2009 11:14am
LM (mail):

But citing a post from October 2007? This allows for only two possible conclusions:

1) You have an obsessive man-crush on me;

Had. Right around then you dissed good colleges or good music (and eventually both), so I knew it couldn't work. By the time you started waxing rhapsodic about Sarah Palin I was already back to my first man-crush: Mona Charon.

2) You are also jbg.

Has jbg ever written a bad word about Mona?
1.16.2009 1:08pm
Hoosier:
Right around then you dissed good colleges or good music (and eventually both),

When did I do that?

I diss only bad colleges and bad music. Like USC. And the Doors.

That kind of stuff.

Has jbg ever written a bad word about Mona?

You tell me, dood. You're teh guy with teh VC database. From my perspective. Mona is a very hot woman. She just isn't hot in that "physically attractive" way.
1.16.2009 1:46pm
Yankev (mail):

I diss only bad colleges and bad music. Like USC. And the Doors.
The Doors may be bad music, but their stuff was classic adolescent self-indulgent poetry. But then again, in my spare time, I used to be the Lizard King.

No opinion about USC, I've never listened to any of their albums.
1.16.2009 1:57pm
LM (mail):
I agree about USC and The Doors. Don't confuse me.
1.16.2009 7:17pm

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If you have a comment about spelling, typos, or format errors, please e-mail the poster directly rather than posting a comment.

Comment Policy: We reserve the right to edit or delete comments, and in extreme cases to ban commenters, at our discretion. Comments must be relevant and civil (and, especially, free of name-calling). We think of comment threads like dinner parties at our homes. If you make the party unpleasant for us or for others, we'd rather you went elsewhere. We're happy to see a wide range of viewpoints, but we want all of them to be expressed as politely as possible.

We realize that such a comment policy can never be evenly enforced, because we can't possibly monitor every comment equally well. Hundreds of comments are posted every day here, and we don't read them all. Those we read, we read with different degrees of attention, and in different moods. We try to be fair, but we make no promises.

And remember, it's a big Internet. If you think we were mistaken in removing your post (or, in extreme cases, in removing you) -- or if you prefer a more free-for-all approach -- there are surely plenty of ways you can still get your views out.