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Juan Cole Gets Some Right, A Lot Wrong, And Leaves Out The Part About The Democrats
Here, from Wikipedia, it started with the Carter administration, which Cole forgot to demonize:

As part of a Cold War strategy, in 1979 the United States government (under President Jimmy Carter and National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski) began covertly to fund and train anti-government Mujahideen forces through the Pakistani secret service known as Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). In order to bolster the local Communist forces, the Soviet Union—citing the 1978 Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Good Neighborliness that had been signed between the two countries—intervened on December 24, 1979. Over 100,000 Soviet troops took part in the invasion, who were backed by another 100,000 and plus pro-communist forces of Afghanistan. The Soviet occupation resulted in the killings of at least 600,000 to 2 million Afghan civilians. Over 5 million Afghans fled their country to Pakistan, Iran and other parts of the world. Faced with mounting international pressure and great number of casualties on both sides, the Soviets withdrew in 1989.

More on that here.

Here's the piece from Cole, (but go to the link and go through the whole thing):

The Bush administration responded to these attacks by the former proteges of Ronald Reagan by putting the old Mujahideen warlords back in charge of Afghanistan's provinces, allowing Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri to escape, declaring that Americans no longer needed a Bill of Rights, and suddenly invading another old Reagan protege, Saddam's Iraq, which had had nothing to do with 9/11 and posed no threat to the US. The name given this bizarre set of actions by Bush was "the War on Terror."

In Iraq, the US committed many atrocities, including bombing campaigns on civilian quarters of cities it had already occupied, and a ferocious assault on Fallujah, and tortured Iraqi prisoners.

In the meantime, the Bush administration put virtually no money or effort into actually combatting terrorist cells in places like Morocco, as opposed to putting $200 billion into the Iraq war and aftermath. As a result, a string of terrorist attacks were allowed to strike at Madrid, London and elsewhere.

Fred Ikle, who had been part of the Reaganist/Chinese Communist effort to convince Muslim fundamentalist generals in Pakistan--against their better judgment-- to allow the US to give the radical Muslim extremists even more sophisticated weapons, wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal urging the nuking of Mecca.

And here's a counterpoint from one of his commenters:

This is ridiculous, I don't have the time to rip this apart but our "support" of the Afghans fighting the Soviet Invasion may be looked upon as poor policy but this wasn't a cabal directed from Washington. We wanted them to defeat the soviets, just like when FDR befriended Stalin to take out Hitler and we befriended Saddam to counter the Iranians. Sometimes you have to use bad men to take out worse men and when those bad men become the "worst" men you get them next. This isn't neocon policy, its been how international affairs have worked since the dawn of mankind and we've made it pretty damn far. And Reagan's military spending was a major factor of the collapse of the Soviet Economy...so did he win the Cold War? Well he was on the winning side and he was at the helm and he gave the speeches and he out spent them so......use logic. Pinkos! yuk lol

As for the allegation that we created Bin Laden, here's a well-sourced statement on that from The State Department.

For the record, for those who don't know, as I like to say, "I was against the Iraq war before I was against it," but I think a little honesty is in order here from Cole.

Agree? Disagree?

via Deirdre

Posted by aalkon at August 23, 2007 1:23 AM

Comments

Cole's a fuckup, but as long as we're sweating the details.... Friends, let's (again, again) explore the implications of this short passage, which betrays some freaky thinking about how the world works:

> allowing Bin Laden and
> al-Zawahiri to escape

You seem to imagine that Bin Laden was at some point under our control in Afghanistan, otherwise there's no "escape" which he might have been "allowed".

Go to the CIA factbook: You have to believe that we had --or should have had-- identification and control over 30 million individual people an impoverished, Texas-sized nation of at the hour of Bin Laden's departure. (And again again again, I think we killed him there with a clusterbomb.) You're saying we should have had the power to identify and communicate regarding specific (locally foreign) individuals in a distant land of under 30% literacy, primitive electronic communication and essentially zero governmental administrative order.

Amy, that's insane. When do you believe that we ever had this control? What do you think life is like there even today? This is craziness. There's no corner of this planet, with the possible exception of the White House Rose Garden in broad daylight, where control of a population is that tight... And as you step out onto Pennsylvania Avenue, it's over. Bin Laden chose Afghanistan as his hideout because it's as far away from civilization as you can get.

More annoying than that is the hope for the world that this sort of thinking betrays.

Last year I did jury duty in downtown LA, and it was gruesome. Nighttime car thief... 3 eyewitnesses, two cops and a neighborhood resident.... The kind of racial triangulation that liberals such as myself dream of: Thief and resident were race #1, cops were races #2 & #3 (so color was not the problem)... Truckloads of physical and circumstantial evidence was presented without dispute.

Fucker walked. 8 of us simply dismissed the police identification outright, saying they should have had "more evidence." I begged them to consider what it would mean to them if someone raped their daughter and a jury thought three eyewitnesses weren't enough to I.D. These people thought that because they'd been called to pass judgment, the police hadn't done their job.

So what did they imagine that job to be? Do they really want every man woman and child in America to be supervised by a uniformed officer with a camera, so that if we do something wrong there'll be indisputable proof and quick surrender of freedom? Do you think the spook agencies really have that kind of control in the mountains of Afghanistan?

Do you want them to?

OK, but no more whining about civil or human rights, ever.

Grrrr.

Posted by: Crid at August 23, 2007 6:04 AM

Here is the skinny of Cole's version of recent history:


"The Bush administration responded ..by.. allowing Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri to escape, declaring that Americans no longer needed a Bill of Rights, and suddenly invading another old Reagan protege, Saddam's Iraq…


In Iraq, the US committed … bombing campaigns on civilian quarters…, and tortured Iraqi prisoners.


In the meantime, the Bush administration put virtually no money or effort .. combatting terrorist, [and] [a]s a result, a string of terrorist attacks were allowed to strike at Madrid, London and elsewhere.


Fred Ikle, … wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal urging the nuking of Mecca."

_____________

This reminds me of this joke:


An Israeli in Paris saw a vicious pit bull attacking a toddler. He killed the pit bull and saved the child's life, who escaped with a few minor scratches.

Reporters swarmed the fellow. "Tell us! What's your name? All Paris will love you! Tomorrow's headline will be: "Parisian Hero Saves Girl from Vicious Dog!"

The guy says, "But I'm not from Paris.

"Reporters: "That's OK. Then the whole of France will love you and tomorrow's headline will read: 'French Hero Saves Girl from Vicious Dog!'"

The guy says, "I'm not from France, either."

Reporters: "That's OK also. All Europe will love you. Tomorrow's headlines will shout: 'European Hero Saves Girl from Vicious Dog!'"

The guy says, "I'm not from Europe, either.

Reporters: "So, where ARE you from?

The guy says, "I'm from Israel.

The following day, headlines in Paris dailies screamed:

'Israeli attacks little girl's dog. Dog dead, little girl injured'!"

Posted by: Noga at August 23, 2007 3:14 PM

That's a new version of a very old joke:

In 1930 in Berlin, a Jew is sitting on a bench at a zoo. He hears screams and looks up to see that a lion has escaped from its cage and is about to pounce on a little girl. The Jew leaps at the lion and subdues it, saving the girl's life.

The next day, the headline in Der Sturmer*
reads "Savage Jew Attacks Helpless Kitten".

*Der Sturmer was a Nazi "newspaper"

Posted by: Ephraim at August 23, 2007 4:39 PM

It's about time someone told a joke around here!

A man walks up to the bar, and says "bartender, give me a glass of your best scotch. I'm celebratin!"

Bartender asks, "whatcha celebratin"?

Man says, "I was walkin down the railroad tracks today, and found a shapely young lady tied to the railroad tracks. Well, the train was a'comin quick, so's I untied her, and we went off to my shack, and made love all day long. I was on top, she was on top, from behind, we did it all! It was the best afternoon of my life!"

Bartender takes a shot himself, and asks "was she beautiful"?

Man says, "I don't know. I haven't found her head yet..."

Posted by: eric (here till Tuesday) at August 23, 2007 7:45 PM

A priest, a minister and a rabbi walk into a bar. Bartender looks up and says "What is this, some kind of joke?" o_O

Posted by: Flynne (try the veal) at August 24, 2007 7:12 AM

!

Posted by: martin at September 12, 2007 8:27 AM

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