Comments: I Don't Get It

Juan Cole's role in the Obama Age is apology for the Obama Agenda.

Juan Cole's role in the Bush/Cheney Age was effigy and straw-man for imagined "leftist" Islamic empathy.

Juan Cole's legitimacy has always been in question to anyone with a decent background in global affairs, because Juan Cole is one of the spineless left's gatekeepers. He offers just enough contrariness to seem like he questions the Official American Imperial Version of Life Today, but in the Obama Age, he never really takes any positions that would doubt Obama's Omniscience and Cole's assessments will for the most part end up supporting what Obama's Admin is seeking.

Juan Cole should be known by the essence of his perspective:

just gimme a Donkey in the White House -- ANY Donkey -- and all is right with the world

Posted by Juan Seis-Olla at June 13, 2009 08:52 PM

As we know, Juan Cole is an "anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist, an apologist for radical Islam" who "peddles Hamas propaganda." Obviously if he were Iranian, he would have just voted for Ahmadinejad while shouting "Allahu Akbar."

Yes, and we know Mr Jonathan Schwarz is a member of AIPAC!!!!!

And yet today he's written extensively about the evidence the election in Iran was just stolen by the country's Islamic theocracy

And what a great write up it is. And the numbers provided by the Interior Ministry are too ridiculous to be believed. I am sure the campus-watchers are in a state of shock by Prof Cole's write up. They are losing an opportunity to label him all the things you have labelled him above!!!

Some great pictures of Iran's Presidential Elections:

Posted by Rupa Shah at June 13, 2009 09:37 PM

Hates Jews, what are the odds for that?

Posted by Mike Meyer at June 13, 2009 09:50 PM

i'm uneasy and unsure about iran. i believe juan cole is trustworthy, and the iranians are certaintly capable of swiping an election (as are some folks here, duh). i don't know if someone in iran did swipe this one (how could I know that right now?), but juan cole puts forward some good points and real concerns.

what's really weird to me is that whatever the outcome of this election, as i understand the situation, supreme leader khameini was and is in charge. the iranian "president" doesn't control the military or make foreign policy. Shouldn't somebody in the u.s. media make abundantly clear that this iranian "presidential" election isn't like a u.s. presidential election? admadinedjad isn't "the man" even if he wins. nor will the other guy be. for that reason,this smacks to me of a contrived "crisis," but we'll see.

regardless of whatever really happened in the voting booths of iran, the neocons will try to spin this toward escalating tensions with iran. that's bad even if the election in fact was stolen, becausae we don't need to ratchet up tensions in asia and dig ourselves in deeper and deeper. that's not going to work out in the long run, which from a historical point of view is the short run. we better get the hell out of there whenever we can, because if we don't eventually something horrible is CERTAINLY going to come of it.

if we go down that road, a possible outcome is the end of life on earth (i'm not kidding about that, because weapons are so powerful now, and china and russia and maybe even india aren't necessarily going to stand idly by while we take out the iranians). so if dick cheney's beloved one percent doctrine applies in ways he doesnt' favor, like the worst case results of wars,we should do anything we can to avoid that possibility. of course, that applies only if the one percent doctrine isn't just a farcical pretext for doing whatever the neocons want.

another objection is that all that is wussie talk. real men don't flinch when some alarmist talks about extinction or nightmare scenarios. if we're going to avoid aggresive action just because it might result in the end of human life, we might as well just cash in the empire now. once our enemies figure that out, the game is up. so i guess we have to proceed, from a responsible perspective, one percent doctrine be damned.

sic transit gloria mundi

Posted by Not Exactly at June 13, 2009 10:05 PM

Mike Meyer:

"Hates Jews, what are the odds for that?
Are you seriously asking that question?

Whatever gave you that idea? He is anything but anti-semitic.

Posted by Rupa Shah at June 13, 2009 10:22 PM

Mike Meyer:
I am sure you know why Prof Cole was denied appointment at Yale! The neocons did not like what he had to say ( just like they denied Prof Khalidi appt at Princeton and tenure to Prof Finkelstein at DePaul ).

Posted by Rupa Shah at June 13, 2009 10:36 PM

Rupa Shah: I just thought everybody did, go figure. There is only one temple in this state, Reformed Movement. After "mentioning" I'm Chasidic, they kicked my ass out. So, I've seen Jews that are prejudiced against Jews.

Posted by Mike Meyer at June 13, 2009 10:57 PM

Mike, do you think that a professor specializing in Middle Eastern studies is highly likely to be an anti-semite? If so, why?

On Juan Cole, the election looks pretty fishy and the government there seems to be cracking down, which makes one think they are up to something, but there's a blogger (linked in Juan Cole's comment section) who thinks the statistical argument people are using to prove fraud doesn't prove anything--


Posted by Donald Johnson at June 13, 2009 11:37 PM

Mike Meyer:
People hating people because of religion ( different religions or different sects of the same religion ) only demonstrates their ignorance and bigotry. I am sorry to learn what you have written. But this kind of religious intolerance I have noted between my catholic and protestant friends also and that is very sad.

Posted by Rupa Shah at June 13, 2009 11:50 PM

At, in the comment section, there are quite a few skeptics about the results...

and then there are those, who are convinced, Ahmadinejad won the elections fair and square. I guess, next few days will unfold the real story.

Posted by Rupa Shah at June 14, 2009 12:15 AM

Rupa Shah, Donald Johnson: I hold no grudge and frankly don't I don't blame them> Since the last "few" bombings of Gaza I can barely stand to be around another Jew, myself.
As far as Iran, MY GOD, YOU are AMERICAN. YOU would NEVER lift a finger over a STOLEN ELECTION and neither would I. I sincerely believe the Iranians should follow OUR SPLENDED EXAMPLE.

Posted by Mike Meyer at June 14, 2009 12:48 AM

Woah? India? Not a chance Not Exactly.

(LoL at that sentence)

You must be thinking that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is also a military alliance. China's Foreign Minister strictly described it as an economic cooperation and he wasn't lying.

The Chinese and Indians are infamous for border disputes. Infact they even fought a war over it at the height of the Cuban missle crisis. China has huge investments in Pakistan, and shares military secrets with them jointly.

And they're in the same Organization!

Although necessity warranted that Russia and China mete out their differences after their own war (so much for being for being for the people, they even fought a war with North Vietnam not leaving out of course cases of Soviet Union's ideological hypocrisy) to say that Russia has an arsenal it can't use is an understatement. Power outages are common in once menacing military bases, it's blue-water navy rusts at port, and the Victory Day parades are simply displays of creaking, decades old equipment retaining whatever dignity bearing a new coat of paint.

Although Russia helps out China with aircraft technology, the Indians gets plenty of help from Isreal and the United States. Despite being THE economic powerhouse in the world, China still doesn't have a carrier (India has a carrier group) and its years behind India's space program! What do you know? Russia also doesn't mind selling its air superiority fighter (the SU-30) to both China AND India.

So, using cheesy, lewd baseball metaphors, the game isn't over but the Neocons will be pitching for a long time.

Posted by Nikolay Levin at June 14, 2009 01:20 AM

Mike Meyer:
Yes, unfortunately, I can not do anything about the stolen election in Iran but OUR STOLEN ELECTIONS, it was too bad the candidates themselves did not fight hard enough to claim victory. I NEVER accepted the legality of Dubya's victory.

Here is another analysis, by Prof Zunes, on the stolen election in Iran...

And in today's excellent post, Prof Cole has answered questions raised by many commenters, specially supporters of Ahmadinejad, who are taking issue with allegations of 'stolen election'.

Posted by Rupa Shah at June 14, 2009 10:45 AM

Sorry Folks,

Ahmadinejad is very popular with poor, rural, and older voters in Iran whom are in the vast majority. He won by 65% in the last Iranian election and he won again with a comparable figure. Domestic politics was more important than International Affairs in the minds of Iranians. I think that's a mistake, but that's where it is.

Posted by Iron butterfly at June 14, 2009 11:37 AM

Sorry Folks,

Ahmadinejad is very popular with poor, rural, and older voters in Iran whom are in the vast majority. He won by 65% in the last Iranian election and he won again with a comparable figure. Domestic politics was more important than International Affairs in the minds of Iranians. I think that's a mistake, but that's where it is.

Posted by Iron butterfly at June 14, 2009 11:37 AM

The Iranians WILL be living with Ahmadinjad for the next 4 years, riot or not. Perhaps they might try impeachment.

Posted by Mike Meyer at June 14, 2009 11:40 AM

Nonetheless, I will continue to wear my "No Iran War" t-shirt.

Posted by cemmcs at June 14, 2009 12:20 PM

Nonetheless, I will continue to wear my "No Iran War" t-shirt.

Posted by cemmcs at June 14, 2009 12:20 PM

He won by 65% in the last Iranian election and he won again with a comparable figure.

Well, sure, but if the Obama administration is going to isolate Iran, justify sanctions and eventual war, they need manufactured controversies like this election bullshit. War Pig and Walking/Talking/Blogging Human Rights Atrocity Andrew Sullivan is the #1 disseminator on this project. Waffling Juan Cole is strictly second string as Imperial mouthpieces go, but he'll do in a pinch.

Posted by AlanSmithee at June 14, 2009 01:02 PM

Until someone shows me the Iranian missile that can hit North America, I will continue to wear my "Who Gives A Shit?" t-shirt.

I watched Dr. Cole give a presentation on Pakistan a few years ago and it was eye opening to say the least and it led me to stop listening to all American politicians on the subject of Pakistan.

Posted by Mark Gisleson at June 14, 2009 01:05 PM

This is why we should listen to experts like Kenneth Pollack who may be writing a new book about Iran called the Gathering Tornado.

Posted by Rob Payne at June 14, 2009 01:29 PM

Iron butterfly:
There may be some truth in what you say according to some info in the following report.

A first hand report by Robert Fisk.....

Posted by Rupa Shah at June 14, 2009 01:34 PM

WE should be listening to the Iranians themselves if WE are serious about caring about what is happening there. 'Cause I'm thinkin' that this is another Question where "bomb Iran into the stoneage" IS the Answer.

Posted by Mike Meyer at June 14, 2009 01:37 PM

My first impression is that the CIA & Special Forces are all over Iran's ass, and perhaps because of that, there was some counter-hanky-panky on the part of Ahmad.'s side? I don't know.

I do know that American politicians getting their panties in an uproar over election irregularities in another country -- which they wouldn't do if their guy won, of course -- is same old pot-kettle-black bullshit.

Posted by Cloud at June 14, 2009 01:40 PM

iran has ~1/6 of the world's proven natural gas reserves and ~1/4 of eurasian reserves, according to a recent US gummint report. there's yer story.

Posted by hapa at June 14, 2009 02:19 PM

Wasn't there that song by Flack of Segals?

And Iran, Iran so far away.
I just ran, Iran all night and day.
I couldn't get away.

A mushroom cloud appears above your head;
A beam of light comes shining down on you,
Shining down on you.
The cloud is moving nearer still.
Armegeddon comes in view;
Dick Armey* comes in view.

* "Yes, I am Dick Armey. And if there is a dick army, Barney Frank would want to join up."

On May 1, 2002, during an interview on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, Armey called for a homeland for the Palestinians outside of Palestine, which the hypersensitive American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee said was a call for ethnic cleansing.

In a 2002 interview for The New York Times, Armey Stated that his "No. 1 in foreign policy is to protect Israel."

In September 2008, while commenting on Barack Obama's name, Armey stated that it could "give people concerns that he could be or have been too much influenced by Muslims, which is a great threat now."

Posted by Oarwell at June 14, 2009 02:28 PM

Not directly related to this post but very much related to the situation in ME, Netanyahu agrees to an independent Palestinian state with conditions, always conditions!!! Of course, threat from Iran had to be included in the speech and funny, he put condtions for agreeing to a Palestinian state but would hold peace talks without preconditions!!
Mr Schwarz, I am as confused as you are but by the language used by politicians.

Posted by Rupa Shah at June 14, 2009 04:05 PM

Juan Cole's arguments for this being a stolen election look pretty good to me (not that I know much about Iran).

The fact that neocons or others will use this as a reason for bombing Iran doesn't mean it's not true.

Posted by Donald Johnson at June 14, 2009 05:51 PM

Though having said that, one of the pseudonymous Middle East experts in the comments section at Obsidian Wings isn't completely convinced the elections were stolen, and he says two Iranian experts he's talked to say the same. He thinks it's likely, but not certain.

Posted by Donald Johnson at June 14, 2009 05:59 PM

all this really does not answer why bother to do it . at the end of the day big Ayatollah is the one who calls the shots any way . yoshie at lenin's tomb has link to a month old opinion survey which actually is close to final results .

as much as dr.cole is informed i do have trouble with this larger than life image . he too had hid glasses . in case if people forget he was an early supporter of invasion of Iraq and no my understanding never had shown a fundamental position against the american empire .

Posted by badri at June 14, 2009 06:17 PM

turning to the most important part about shouting "Allahu Akbar." and all the associated implication here is an antidote from Tony Karon..
a 2002 story in the London Sunday Times, in which Hala Jaber painted an extraordinary portrait of a group of young Palestinians training to be suicide bombers. Amid the tension of the boys steeling themselves to kill and be killed, one of the fighters ran in with “very important news”: Manchester United had beaten West Ham 5-3. “David Beckham two score. Very good Manchester,” Jaber quoted him as saying, adding: “The announcement was greeted with unanimous pleasure, amid further calls of ‘Allahu akbar’.”

Posted by badri at June 14, 2009 06:20 PM

One of the speculations (I won't dignify it with the name of "theory") about the alleged stealing of the election is that it's a coup by the national security state in Iran against the Ayatollahs. That is, Ahmadinejad and company have overthrown the clerics and taken supreme power for themselves, though they will keep the clerics around as ceremonial figures. Which sorta makes sense, since as you and others say, it's not clear why the clerics cared about the results of the election. Whether it's a serious possibility or not I have no idea.

Posted by Donald Johnson at June 14, 2009 06:35 PM

Here is an opinion by Prof Gary Sick who has called it the "Political Coup"

And a letter by presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi to Iranian people.

I guess, the Iranian people will never find out who really won the election and the "Bomb Iran" lobby is probably celebrating!

ps apparently, Mousavi has appealed to the ruling guardian council to overturn the election result.

Posted by Rupa Shah at June 14, 2009 06:40 PM

oopppss . too may typos last time ..
it is confusing to be sure . i can not off hand recall the set up of their internal security ministry . the other part of security apparatus is revolutionary guards and they report to big ayatollah . i for one doubt unfaithful ones will become generals there .
Fisk over there seem to think differently from juan cole .
it is surreal and absurd at one level going by these chants of opponents " "Zionist Ahmadinejad – cheating at exams."..
here is yoshie's link

Posted by badri at June 14, 2009 08:05 PM

Maybe Iranian newspaper polling protocols are just primitive. Remember the famous 1930s poll that assumed the GOP would be back in the White House that was based on an over-reliance on voters having telephones?

Posted by grimmy at June 14, 2009 08:29 PM

Maybe Iranian newspaper polling protocols are just primitive. Remember the famous 1930s poll that assumed the GOP would be back in the White House that was based on an over-reliance on voters having telephones?

(I'm beginning to think that nobody takes your half-baked assertions seriously unless you post them twice. Also, I didn't want to be left out, in case double-posting was a lot of fun. Thus far, it's only OK.)

Posted by grimmy at June 14, 2009 08:31 PM

I haven't visited a Horowitz site since Berube stopped blogging. The memories it brings back, I'm tearing up.

Posted by An Outhouse at June 15, 2009 10:33 PM

I don't get the hoopla, the elections are predetermined by kicking down any candidacy the clerics veto, every election. It's rather a piddling, trivial detail after the fact whether the resulting Bush v. Gore was stolen, since it was from the start, out in the open.

Is this some sort of flashpoint in history? Some folks taking walks together? A couple burning buses? It's like any May Day in Germany. If it keeps going maybe I'll start paying attention, but the constant blathering about whether the election was all fair-and-square just annoys me. It's nearly as irritating as when they talk about the Iranian presidency like the office controls the armed forces.

For that matter, what we have here is a real twofer, where the media asks their guests whether a presidential election that was stolen out in the open was stolen, and what it means for the foreign relations of a country where the foreign relations are not determined by the president.

Going back to my cave to hibernate.

Posted by buermann at June 16, 2009 05:03 AM


Posted by cemmcs at June 16, 2009 11:18 AM