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April 03, 2005


Kevin Donoghue

Mahmood in comments: "Professor Cole contacted me and offered his apology for this error which I accept. I have a lot of respect for him and his writing - not completely agree with all of his conclusions, but nevertheless he covers Iraq quite well and his blog is one of my main daily stopovers."

It is one of my daily stopovers too, for the same reason.

Abiola Lapite

I'm not in the least inclined to take that at face value: Mahmood just happens to have a well-developed sense of courtesy.

The fact of the matter is that as another commenter notes, Juan Cole is dishonest: rather than add a coda explaining how he erred, he simply effaced the offending statements from the record. If Cole has ever had the decency to openly apologize for erroneous statements on his part about people with whom he disagrees - whether calling them CIA stooges or fronts for Likud - I have yet to see any such thing.

Kevin Donoghue

Well, this apology to Iraq the Model probably won't meet your high standards in these matters; for what it's worth I thought it was a bit grudging in context. But as far as it goes it is an open apology for an erroneous statement:

"So, anyway, I offer this posting as a clarification and also, as a retraction of the comment about the Abilene ISP and any unfounded implication of USG support for the IraqTheModel site. And I apologize to the Ali brothers for the error, and want to stress that I bear them no ill will."

He also owes Qaradawi an apology I believe, at least if Abu Aardvark is correct. All I would say is, those who shun his blog because they dislike his politics are making a mistake (not that you suggested anyone should).

Abiola Lapite

I don't shun his blog; I just don't take anything Juan Cole has to say as gospel truth or even necessarily mostly accurate, as tends to be the case with many left-leaning bloggers who parrot his scribblings as if they were holy writ.

That a blog happens to reinforce one's prejudices is no reason to buy everything it's saying, and having some experience of the Muslim world myself, I've caught Cole uttering some self-satisfied statement I know to be nonsense too many times to take him as a mostly reliable observer.


Juan Cole is more than just Juan Cole. He is the poster child for the whole establishment of federally-funded Middle East experts who try to show how independent they are by biting the hand that feeds them. Ali got slapped for spoiling the show.

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