Michael Totten

Stop Juan Cole

“Juan Cole”:http://www.juancole.com/ is “decrying all the neocons”:http://sandbox.blog-city.com/abc_anything_but_cole.htm he’s forced to compete with in the 2008 Weblog Awards for Best Middle East or Africa Blog. He thinks Helena Cobban — a deranged Hezbollah supporter — should have been nominated instead of someone like me. He’s worked his leftist readers into a tizzy, and they’re putting him over the top. I don’t really care if I win this award; I won it last year. But Juan Cole certainly doesn’t deserve it.
You know “what kind of abject nonsense he’s peddling now”:http://sandbox.blog-city.com/cole_spills_wine_at_cana.htm? He’s arguing that Israel’s 1996 attack in Qana, Lebanon, inspired Mohammad Atta, who led the Al Qaeda cell on September 11, to write his “martyrdom will.” But Atta’s will, as Martin Kramer points out, was written before the attack in Qana. And it wasn’t a martyrdom will. It was a standard will. But Cole won’t let facts get in the way of blaming Israelis for just about anything, including violence committed by Al Qaeda.
Don’t let Cole win. “Go over there and vote for me”:http://2008.weblogawards.org/polls/best-middle-east-or-africa-blog/. Alternately, “My Marrakesh”:http://moroccanmaryam.typepad.com/ is a beautiful blog written by a woman who isn’t a neoconservative. Go vote for her. Or if you want to vote for a professor, vote for “Martin Kramer”:http://www.martinkramer.org/. He actually knows what he’s talking about. Or there’s always Aussie Dave at “Israellycool”:http://www.israellycool.com/. I’ve met him, he’s a good guy, and he doesn’t sit around in his office and hatch “asinine conspiracy theories”:http://sandbox.blog-city.com/israel_lebanon_war_juan_cole.htm like Cole does.
UPDATE: This post was slightly edited for precision. I had originally stated that Cole blamed Israel’s war in Lebanon on Atta’s 9/11 attack, but I struck that sentence because, more precisely, he blamed it on the 1996 Israeli attack on Qana in Lebanon. Cole edits his posts without notifying his readers, and he shouldn’t. So I won’t.