Thursday, September 02, 2004

Juan Cole Goes Wild

Juan Cole, every Bush hater's favorite Middle East specialist (with Robert Fisk running a close second) reveals himself to be willing to lean on the most dubious sources if they provide a justification to indulge in feverish speculations about AIPAC, Mossad, Israel and high-placed neocons with "dual loyalties." Why am I not surprised by any of this? More importantly, why is this man taken so seriously? Is it because he happens to be a professor at the University of Michigan, or because he likes to say the sorts of things people who dislike American foreign policy prefer to be told?

Innuendo about the loyalties of Paul Wolfowitz seems especially off-base to me seeing as he was booed for mentioning the sufferings of Palestinians at a pro-Israel rally not so long ago; his concern for democratic change in the Arab world also seems to have roots dating a long way back, while his recently revealed relationship with an Iraqi woman named Shaha Ali Riza speaks against any interpretation of the man as a sworn enemy of all Arabs. If Wolfowitz is truly "guilty" of anything, it would seem to me to be a naive optimism about human nature, rather than disloyalty to his country, and the only reason I can think of for people to keep dragging his name up in insinuations about "dual loyalties" is purely because of his ethnicity, which tells you everything you need to know about those who make such charges.