Juan Cole doesn’t just poke around for facts to fit his opinions. (We all do that to an extent at least on occasion.) Instead he hallucinates – or simply invents — his own “facts” to suit his agenda which, in this case, is blaming the September 11 attacks on the US and Israel.
According to the September 11 Commission report, al-Qaeda conceived 9/11 in some large part as a punishment on the US for supporting Ariel Sharon’s iron fist policies toward the Palestinians. Bin Laden had wanted to move the operation up in response to Sharon’s threatening visit to the Temple Mount, and again in response to the Israeli attack on the Jenin refugee camp, which left 4,000 persons homeless. Khalid Shaikh Muhammad argued in each case that the operation just was not ready.
Anyone could have fact-checked this work of fiction, but Martin Kramer was the one who actually did it.
Did Cole read the same 9/11 report as the rest of us? There’s not a single passage in the 9/11 report mentioning Sharon’s (or Israel’s) policies, and I challenge him to produce one. Cole just made it up. And in point of fact, the report’s narrative definitively contradicts him.
The 9/11 operation could hardly have been “conceived” as a response to U.S. support for Sharon’s “iron fist policies.” It was conceived, its operatives were selected, and it was put in motion, long before Sharon took the helm.
And what of Cole’s claim that Bin Laden wanted to launch the attacks “in response to the Israeli attack on the Jenin refugee camp, which left 4,000 persons homeless”? The Jenin operation took place in April 2002, seven months after 9/11.
Cole just figures that must have been the reason for 911, in utter defiance of all widely available evidence. What kind of person picks one of his pet causes and just assumes Al Qaeda attacked us for that particular reason?
Not only does he get his chronology (and hence his cause and effect) completely and utterly backwards, he just makes up out of thin air some of the glue that holds it together. I mean, look at this sentence:
Khalid Shaikh Muhammad argued in each case that the operation just was not ready.
How on earth could Khalid Shaikh Muhammad argue after the Jenin battle that the 911 attacks were not ready if the attacks had already taken place? He couldn’t, obviously. Every single sentence in that paragraph is a hallucination or a lie, even the final most innocuous one.
And that’s just the beginning. You really must read Kramer’s entire post from beginning to end to get an idea of just exactly how shameless and dishonest Juan Cole really is, in general and not just in this one particular post. It frankly boggles the mind.
And don’t miss Tony Badran’s fisking of Cole’s response (here and here) to the London attacks. Naturally Cole completely botched his analysis. Tony has been impaling Cole’s “analysis” on actual facts every single day for a week now. That may seem a bit obsessive, but as Tony himself says: “I’m sorry but the Professor is just priceless.”