Mark Kleiman calls out Juan Cole

Mark Kleiman (who stands behind no one in his distaste for the current Administration or the war) calls out Juan Cole’s disgusting smear of Steven Vincent – and his supercilious (and fact-challenged) reply to Vincent’s widow’s response.

I’ve laid off Cole lately, because I keep asking myself “What’s the point?”

But go read this fierce, and accurate takedown of the enraged, intellectually dishonest Professor Cole.

38 thoughts on “Mark Kleiman calls out Juan Cole”

  1. I’m sorry if Mr. Cole offended you or Mr. Vincent’s widow but the facts are that he is correct. It does not matter if nothing at all happened between Mr. Vincent and his translator. If it is “percieved” that something was immoral, than that is all the murderer(s) needed. It is the same as gossip here in the States except some people are barbarians and some aren’t.
    Personally, I believe Mr. Vincent acted immorally since he was planning to marry the woman while he was still married to his widow. Of course, what I believe really doesn’t matter because that was between him, his wife, and God.
    Very Respectfully,
    Robin

  2. I am not a troll. There are thousands of people named Robin Roberts (didn’t Good Morning America ask you for your bio like they did hundreds of other Robin Roberts?). I do not have a URL because I am just an average person, not a big time blogger.
    I am retired from the Army and have my own opinions and beliefs. Isn’t that what the United States is all about?

  3. Robin Roberts (#3, #5):

    I’ve put two stars after your name to distinguish your comments from those by the other Robin Roberts, who wuz here first.

    Welcome to WoC. Could you keep the asterisks, or otherwise sign your posts such that readers will know which RR is writing what?

    Thanks, Marshal Festus

  4. Vincent was marrying the woman to get her a visa in order to get out of Iraq alive. _With_ the full knowledge and consent of his wife. Insinuating otherwise with absolutely no proof when the act of courage cost the man his life is just utterly sick and pathetic. A man died attempting to save a womans life and people are treating it like a soap opra. I dont have the words to describe how mean and vulgar that is.

  5. Cole: Clueless Americans don’t understand gender segregation, and they don’t understand clan honor as practiced in most Arab societies.

    What exactly is it that clueless Americans like myself don’t understand about gender segregation, professor?

    Gender segregation means that the genders are segregated, right? Well, duh. And the obvious rationale for gender segregation – which, like adultery, is mostly enforced against women – is the idea that women are property, and furthermore they are property that is only useful for sexual procreation.

    So if the woman is spoiled by dishonorable contact, the clan loses valuable property that could have been traded to another clan for dowry and alliance. “Clan honor” demands that the woman be savagely punished for this – usually by death, since her negotiable value is now zero.

    Is there some subtle multi-culti wisdom in this practice that I’m missing out on, professor?

  6. I apologize for my last post being insensitive to your grief. I am no expert on any of this Shiite think, but certainly betrothed has some meaning in their culture. By all accounts that I have seen he was a very good man. What others (including myself) see is that he was not in any iminent physical threat from his wife. Her consent did not provide him any protection from the dangers he faced. He was living dangerously, on all sides.

  7. I apologize for my last post being insensitive to your grief. I am no expert on any of this Shiite think, but certainly betrothed has some meaning in their culture. By all accounts that I have seen he was a very good man. What others (including myself) see is that he was not in any iminent physical threat from his wife. Her consent did not provide him any protection from the dangers he faced. He was living dangerously, on all sides.

  8. He was living dangerously, on all sides.

    Yes he was–living dangerously to make sure Americans knew the truth, and that his translator was safe from oppression and the threat of death. As his widow says, that’s what we call courage.

    If a soldier had been shot and killed defending an Iraqi woman from jihadis, no one would think to criticize him as “failing to understand the culture” or “living dangerously.” The very thought is laughable.

    That Mr. Vincent was not a soldier does not make his courage less real, or his death less noble. That he chose danger instead of safety in the service of good should merit praise, not criticism about his cultural myopia.

  9. To: Robin Roberts

    Sorry. I just hate being a “troll”. Sometimes I’m more of an Orc, but mostly I try to do the right thing.
    Sincerely,
    Robin**

    To: Glen
    Not all gender segregation is economic. Sometimes it is just trying to be righteous before God. I don’t like it and I think it is unnecessary but I am not going to condemn it. Only God can condemn the actions of others. Personally, I think women should pull a “Lysistrata” on ignorant men when needed.

  10. RR double asterisk: I don’t like it and I think it is unnecessary but I am not going to condemn it. Only God can condemn the actions of others.

    You’re kidding, right? Because if you aren’t, you’re making an intellectual error so profound that maybe only God could straighten you out.

  11. I think women should pull a “Lysistrata” on ignorant men when needed.

    Something tells me that the sort of men who kill women over alleged improprieties (including women who disgrace their families by gettting raped) would not have the slightest compunction about taking sharp measures against this kind of impertinence.

  12. Glen,
    Maybe God is the only one that can straighten me out. I have a tendency to look at things in more than one way simply because I am human and have been known to make mistakes. Just because I provided an alternative to your mistaken economic analogy does not make me wrong.
    I think your self awarded intellectuality is very arrogant. I have spent more than 8 years living in other cultures. Have you? I am disabled from my service to my country. Are you? I have a BA and post graduate work. How about you? Just because someone has an education does not make them the know it all of the world. I am not about to assume the mantle of God and denounce or pronounce death to someone that has differnet beliefs than I do. Are you?

  13. Things are morally wrong in and of themselves:

    *Racism, including lynching, discrimination, and all other overt acts.
    *Misogyny, including rape, murder, mutiliation, imprisonment, slavery, and all other overt acts of this nature.
    *Religious/political inspired murder, torture, rape, robbery, etc carried for no other reason than the victim(S) have the “wrong” religion or politics.

    This isn’t something needing great moral debate. It’s just wrong. It is morally wrong, leads to a debasement of character, and sick and broken society where it is tolerated.

    One of the reasons things like the Rape of Nanking or the Germ Warfare against the Chinese or the Bataan Death March or the war crimes against Filipinos, Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Indonesians, Malaysians, Burmese etc happened was that the Japanese just assumed that morality and correct codes of behaviour no longer applied when they left Japan and dealt with non-Japanese.

    I need hardly point out the danger in this assumption.

  14. Mark,
    There is a halfway point. It is the civil government we now have. It is when you mix the two that things get really bad. The United States believes in democracy, as it should. Others believe something else. I think the best we can hope for is to do the best we can to make things better for ourselves and others.
    When others tell someone that their religion is wrong, they get defensive and belligerant. No one wants to be told they are stupid.
    My whole point in posting was to get people thinking in more than one way. Not everything in Islamic culture is religious, or economic, or bad. Muslims are people too and they screw up just like everybody else. Christianity has produced some real winners in its time, too.

  15. No question. But we are doing other culture no favors by ignoring or papering over what is manifestly wrong, both pragmatically and morally. The west has its attitude toward women right (compared to the Arab world and much of Islam in general), period. Pretending our cultures are equal in that regard is a terrible mistake on many levels. Its amazing how often the pragmatic intersects with the moral given enough time.

  16. Jim,
    You are absolutely correct. Some things are just morally repugnant. The murder of Mr. Vincent was one of those. Of course, it seems everyone thinks it was about moral outrage, or marginal economics. Seems to me he was a foreigner and fairly easy to attack. A prime target for those too frightened to stand up and be counted for what they believe.
    How much anti-terrorism training did Mr. Vincent receive before going to Iraq? I do not know, but I went through weeks of training in the mid-90s on how to protect myself from terrorists and my instructors always told me that vulnerability never goes away. Sometimes you can do everything right and still end up dead.

  17. I’ve laid off Cole lately, because I keep asking myself “What’s the point?”

    I thought the point was you made an arse of yourself with the whole “pond scum” incident? Now, Cole probably deserves that label or worse, but has it ever crossed your mind that you should probably leave Cole to other blogs and/or contributors?

    I mean, we wouldn’t want to miscontrue a dead man’s relationships with others– right? By WOC standards Cole is totally in the clear here.

  18. SAO: I mean, we wouldn’t want to miscontrue a dead man’s relationships with others– right?

    SAO, the unauthorized Winds of Change Historian, refers to the death of Lt. Kylan Jones-Huffman, USN.

    A death which Prof. Cole managed to blame on Israel, anticipating Cindy Sheehan by many months. Proving once again that Prof. Cole is truly on the cutting edge of idiotarianism.

    Thanks for the memories, SAO. Time to get out the scrapbook.

  19. Well Glenn, if you were really interested in WOC history, you might be interested to know I registered the first formal complaint here at WOC regarding Cole’s odious post, probably predating the infamous “pond scum” by several days.

    Yet I wonder what Cole’s “idiotarianism” has to do with A.L.’s scurrilous (and out of character) behavior regarding Jones-Huffman and Cole’s relationship? Perhaps you could explain?

  20. Why don’t I answer instead?

    When I called Prof. Cole pond scum (no quotes necessary) I was echoing Jeff Jarvis’ post on Cle’s slurs of the Iraq The Model borthers.

    I has considered Cole an honorable opponent – someone whose opinions I disagreed with but who I washappy to enagge – to the extent of challenging the MEMRI SLAPP letter to him – until I found out that he’d done the same thing, which he defended in a private, and unhinged, email.

    But to use the life of someone you know to make cheap political points – and to do it without framing it in any humane way – is still something that pisses me off.

    I didn’t slander Vincent or Jones-Huffman – Cole did. And not only is he intellectually dishonest, but his ability to make claims of any kind of higher morality get thrown right out the window by that (among other things…)

    A.L.

  21. I think all that ever really has to be said about you and Cole has been done (by Aaron, #13 and Abu Frank #14 of your “pond scum” post). You made craven remarks about Cole and his relationship with the deceased Jones-Huffman that were either based on falsehoods or sheer laziness.

    It didn’t take you two minutes to justify yourself by pointing out what a crackpot/anti-semite Cole is, which doesn’t let you off the hook for one second– except in Glenn Wishard’s book of course.

    This latest rehash just serves to show that you, like Cole, still won’t take any responsibity for your own words.

  22. Well, SAO, if all that needs to be said has been said, why are we talking?

    Simply put, I stand by my words then and now.

    If you don’t like them, I’m actually sorry, because I appreciate our arguments, but that’s as far as it goes.

    I simply cannot imagine writing anything about the death of someone who I knew at all and making political hay out of it without some wrapper of humanity, some acknowledgement of or shared experience.

    You disagree. So be it.

    A.L.

  23. For the record, I think the original Cole post is snotty, yet not overwhelmingly normative. Cole essentially calls the dead man an ignoramous, but nothing more. It’s cowardly and back-handed and delivered in a tone that perfectly fits a pompous prof with little or no backbone.

    But– I have to say it’s getting a bit tiring to read criticisms of Cole which take his snotty yet positive statements, such as “Arabic and Mediteranean culture focus on male honor to the detrement of female freedom,” and conflate them for something like “Iraqi women should stay at home or die.” Surely we can discuss the merit sticking one’s hand into a bees nest (yet, hopefully with more taste) without having to continually rehash whether bees are or aren’t friendly, hostile or merely defensive.

    Overall it’s symptomatic of the same philosophical degredation that makes careers like Shawn Hannity’s possible in today’s day and age. Yet, I expected a little more from Mark Kleiman.

  24. SAO: it’s getting a bit tiring to read criticisms of Cole which take his snotty yet positive statements …

    How much indignation can SAO fit on the head of a pin?

    A lot, I guess. Not that I’m getting tired of it or anything.

  25. SAO –

    When you say:

    “Surely we can discuss the merit sticking one’s hand into a bees nest (yet, hopefully with more taste) without having to continually rehash whether bees are or aren’t friendly, hostile or merely defensive.”

    you’re doing the same thing that I suggested Ted Barlow did – are Muslims actors or objects? Are they morally responsible agents, or simple artifacts of nature, for us to accept?

    You’ve very focused on our agency in this, but somehow they get a bye…could you explain?

    A.L.

  26. AL-

    …are Muslims actors or objects? Are they morally responsible agents, or simple artifacts of nature, for us to accept?

    Well surely, for our considerations they must be both. If, after a party, I choose to drop my friend off in the middle of the Tenderloin instead of driving him all the way to Noe- and he ends up being violently mugged- am I right to blame his mugging solely on the bums who attacked him?

    I don’t think any amount of brutality found in my friend’s attackers would remove my own culpability, nor vice-versa (which would be “chickens coming home to roost”).

    If I were placing solely my own life in danger, say as a “jewish reporter investigating the KKK?” my own culpability would be very limited indeed. But examples such as this or Vincent’s are rare in the WOT. More often than not, our actions have very large effects upon the safety and stability of others as well.

  27. We should continue to pay attention to Juan Cole, because the tactics he uses are the same tactics that other media supporters of the current Islamist/Arabist campaign of ethnic cleansing use; Cole’s primary weapon is distraction.

    By throwing light on Steven Vincent’s private life while ignoring every other fact concerning his death, Juan Cole and the press have succeeded in distracting us all from one of the most interesting and damning statements about the events surrounding Steven Vincent’s death. From the London Times:

    A freelance American journalist who wrote about alleged corruption and lawlessness in the Iraqi city of Basra has been abducted at gunpoint and shot dead.

    Steven Vincent’s body was recovered at the side of a road south of Basra late last night, several hours after he and his female translator were kidnapped as they left a currency exchange shop, within sight of a British military checkpoint.

    Sinced this information is currently being ignored by the press (the British press especially) I’ll repeat it again.

    he and his female translator were kidnapped as they left a currency exchange shop, within sight of a British military checkpoint.

    If a jewish critic of the KKK had been kidnapped in front of a police station, and if that critic had just published an article criticizing the police for their tolerance of the KKK, and if he was subsequently murdered do you think this information could tell us something about why he was murdered and who was responsible?

    People like Cole are usually quick to condemn the military forces in Iraq for any mistakes they make. So is the press. Why are they working so hard to ignore this?

  28. Mark Kleiman is an idiot. He states that Linda Chavez is the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which comes as a surprise to both Ms. Chavez and the Committee. Loretta Sanchez is actually the head of the Committee along with John Conyers. Apparently, all latinas look alike. At least according to that moron Mark Kleiman.

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