Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Juan Cole accuses Israel of ethnic cleansing 

In his morning post, Juan Cole, favorite (and some would say only) major traffic geopolitical analyst on the left side of the blogosphere, looks at the pattern of Israeli airstrikes and sees evidence of ethnic cleansing:

Thousands of innocent Lebanese have been forced from their homes by the bombings, especially in the South, and have headed up to Beirut (which the Israelis are also indiscriminately bombing). Some 100,000 Lebanese have fled to Syria, though Israeli bombing of roads and bridges has not made it easy for them to get out. Although, because of widespread Western racism, very few over here care about these displaced persons, they face a desperate situation. Roads have been bombed out, and bridges are gone. Lebanese television reported on numerous villages bombed. Rescue teams attempting to take an injured woman to a better hospital with more supplies were blocked when they found the bridge destroyed.

If the reports coming out of Lebanon can be believed, the Israelis are only sometimes striking known Hizbullah safe houses or facilities or missile emplacements. A lot of their bombardment appears aimed at punishing civilian populations and forcing them north to Beirut. Such an approach would help explain the high number of civilian casualties. That is, there may be an element of ethnic cleansing in Israeli tactics.

Well, there "may be an element" of stupidity and slander in Juan Cole's writing.

As high as the civilian casualties seem to be under the scrutiny of the combat-hardened Western press, they have been astonishingly low for a five-day bombing and artillery campaign designed to cut off the target -- Hezbollah's fighters located in southern Lebanon -- from retreat or relief. If Israel wanted to kill or eliminate the people of southern Lebanon, tens of thousands would be dead by now. Juan Cole's insinuation is disgusting.

It is also blind. It is Hezbollah that started a war with civilians in place, Hezbollah who fights without uniforms, and Hezbollah who actually points rockets at civilian targets with no obvious military purpose. Ethnic cleansing? It is Hezbollah, with the full-throated support of its client Iran, that wants to eliminate Jews from the Levant. Who is Cole kidding?


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jul 18, 08:38:00 AM:

I am Spc. Patrick Ziegler with U.S. Central Command Public Affairs. I wanted to give your readers a place to get information on the situation in Lebanon and the evacuation of U.S. personal there. The U.S. CENTCOM website is a good place to get information as this situation develops. Our URL is http://www.centcom.mil  

By Blogger Theo p., at Tue Jul 18, 08:59:00 AM:

Israel is doing terrorist cleansing not ethnic cleansing, the U.S.A. should take a lesson. Before Israel's land for peace apeasement initiatives terrorists threw rocks at Israelie tanks, now they lob rockets at civilian population centers. Terrorists are like a man with a willing companion, they don't need a reason just time and a place.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jul 18, 09:20:00 AM:

It is good t osee that Cole has not changed as he has aged. He's just as stupid today as he was five years ago. Unlike wine and cigars, Cole does not improve with age.  

By Blogger Michael, at Tue Jul 18, 09:47:00 AM:

Cole says the Israeli's are bombing "indiscriminately", yet he provides no evidence or support for that assertion; he is simply repeating the statements of Israel's enemies. I wonder what he expects them to say. I also wonder who he thinks he is fooling.

On the other hand, it is quite obvious that firing thousands of unguided rockets into Israeli towns is an attempt at indiscriminate mass murder. But Cole does not mention or condemn this.

Hezbollah is using all of Lebanon as a human shield, to insure maximum civilian casualties whenever Israel retaliates. Every one of those casualties is thus the moral responsibility of Hezbollah -- and the Lebanese leaders that permit Hezbollah to operate there.  

By Blogger Alexandra, at Tue Jul 18, 09:54:00 AM:

All Things Beautiful TrackBack The Juan Cole 'Bush-Israel' Derangement Syndrome  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jul 18, 10:13:00 AM:

Each and every missile fired by Hezbollah into Israel is a violation of UNSC resolution 1568, which demands that Hezbollah (and all other militias) disarm. Israel is enforcing 1568 since the Lebanese Army is incapable of doing so.

Any new UNSC resolutions should require the full implementation of 1568.  

By Blogger MEC2, at Tue Jul 18, 10:21:00 AM:

Bringing new life to the word "tool", Cole's rhetoric fits in nicely with that of others. Say, Ahmadinejad.

The difference between the West and Islamofascist terrorists is this simple truth - the West can destroy every Muslim person and land, but does not wish it. Islamofacists wish to destroy every non-Muslim person and land, but cannot.  

By Blogger Robert, at Tue Jul 18, 11:18:00 AM:

So what ethnicity is being "cleansed", exactly? And why shouldn't those who support terrorists pay a price? Cole doesn't even pretend any more to be ratinal.  

By Blogger Fenrisulven, at Tue Jul 18, 12:18:00 PM:

Cole says the Israeli's are bombing "indiscriminately", yet he provides no evidence or support for that assertion

Argument By Assertion. Its all the Left has left these days.  

By Blogger Gaius Arbo, at Tue Jul 18, 12:19:00 PM:

Thanks for the smackdown. Linked to it here:


By Blogger allen, at Tue Jul 18, 12:28:00 PM:


"It is Hezbollah, with the full-throated support of its client Iran..."

When I began reading this sentence I absentmindedly struck "Iran" and added "Juan Cole".

Had I failed to catch my error, the sentence would have read, "It is Hezbollah, with the fullthroated support of its client Juan Cole that wants to eliminate Jews from the Levant."

It seems that you corrected yourself as well.

Thanks for the outstanding work you do!  

By Blogger ag1, at Tue Jul 18, 12:53:00 PM:

In a certain sense Cole is correct: the Israeli and our policies do hurt civilians but not in the way he describes. I think that declared (and scrupulously followed) policies of minimizing collateral damage to the point of jepopardaizing operational goals draws bandits to hide within indigenius population in order to get an additional propaganda value out of their terrorist acts. Right now the population is afraid of terrorist more than they are afraid of us. Therefore they submit (sometimes enthusiastically) to terrorists will. If we will become indifferent to collateral damage their proclivity to hide within population will be reduced due to 3 factors: 1. population will be less inclined to hide them and more willing to fight or flight them, 2. the propaganda value would be greatly diminshed, and 3. hiding within civilian population has some operational cost (in addition to advantages) for the terrorists and the "collateral damage blind" policy will increase the cost while reducing advantages for the terrorists.

PS. Hearts and minds will come much later anyway (see Germany and Japan as historical examples). With or without present self-constraining policies.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jul 18, 01:18:00 PM:

Israel is behaving as if Hizbollah were a regular organized army. What did we do after the invasion of normandy in france? We took out roads and bridges to prevent the axis powers from resupplying. It's one of the caveats of war. Cut your enemies supply lines.  

By Blogger Linda, at Tue Jul 18, 02:25:00 PM:

I have always wondered how do they determine who the non-combants are? Hizballah doesnt have uniforms. they drag their family, and any other people they can find in to act as "human shields". Are those people considered non-combatants? I don't see how they could be. I am really sick of this "CIVILIANS ARE BEING KILLED" nonsense. I am sure there are some "innocents", but we see pictures of terrorists surrounded by kids and other "civilians" behind bunkers waiting for US or Israel weapons to kill them so they can scream "See, See, you are killing civilians." We seem to fall for it every time.  

By Blogger Fat Man, at Tue Jul 18, 02:26:00 PM:

As an alumnus of the University of Michigan History Department (M.A. 1971), let me say how disapointed i was that Yale did not take Cole off our hands.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Jul 18, 03:16:00 PM:

Is there some kind of award for being the first moron to pull out the ethnic cleansing charge? Maybe a Pulitzer? I mean if the casualty figures were even in the tens of thousands, that would still not indicate ethnic cleansing. And we are only talking a couple of hundred claimed, not verified. Did anybody else notice all the children in Lebanon being taken to the hospital seemed strangely uninjured? No blood, no cuts, doctors turning them up and down looking for injuries. Perhaps he means ethnic cleansing as in forcing people to leave, not killing them. Of course, blowing up the routes out of town would kind of indicate the opposite was true. Egads, what a moron is Mr Cole.  

By Blogger Georg Felis, at Tue Jul 18, 03:39:00 PM:

I actually posted the comment below at Mr. Coles's site before hitting Tigerhawk’s website today. FYI, your Blogger account will work to post to his site, but I doubt my post will actually show up because the author has to approve comments, and Juan has no desire to face constructive criticism.

(posted at juancole.com)
Your initial premise is that Israel is not only bombing known terrorist targets that they have been investigating for many years, but also randomly bombing civilian targets to get people to flee the area. This makes no sense, if your other comment is true, that Israel has also been bombing bridges. A much more logical conclusion is that Israel is bombing terrorists and trying to block their escape. In addition, many of these bloody-handed murderers being bombed have known they are targets for years, and that is why they try to hide in the densest populated area they can.

This war will only end when Hezbollah stops trying to kill Jews, or is defeated. And the chain of terror points right back thru Syria to Iran.  

By Blogger sirius_sir, at Tue Jul 18, 04:03:00 PM:

Cole sees "an element of ethnic cleansing in Israeli tactics" and yet is blind to the meaning and intent of Ahmadinejad's recent remarks concerning Israel.

Just saying, is all.  

By Blogger Cardinalpark, at Tue Jul 18, 07:26:00 PM:

ethnic cleansing? You mean like what Hezbollah and Iran want to achieve by wiping Israel "off the map?" That kind of ethnic cleansing? Or maybe what Saddam was trying to achieve viz. the Iraqi Kurds?

I wonder what Juan Cole's IQ is. If it's not quite low, then he is a truly evil, pathological liar. Mental incapacities (what people use to call retardation) would be a legitimate excuse.  

By Blogger orlandoslug, at Tue Jul 18, 07:37:00 PM:

Is the idea of Total War obsolete?

Have the political winds made our weapons of the last war obsolete, only to be turned back by the low grade fever of terrorism?

Can Iran stall the use of Total War by supporting stateless proxies until such a time as they can counter; or, until such a time as the world's thirst for oil will preclude upsetting the world economy by such action?

...or are they willing to bet the farm on a limited response (no first response) to an attack that will not only destroy their most hated enemy in the ME; but, will also villify the big satan across the moslem world and only make their position stronger!

...a gutsy move; hard to understand from a western perspective...but true to the nature of the tit-for-tat neighborhood in which they live, and indicative of their differing ideas towards loss of life when contrasted to our own...

...the recent incursion into Lebanon, and the resulting blame heaped by the local populace upon Israel shows how crafty the manipulative mullahs are...the Lebanon that months ago had freedom rallies is now in jeopardy of acceptance of the status quo simply because of the hatred of a joint enemy...

...to think that the mullahs couldn't turn any attack or response into a net gain in today's political climate is naive...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jul 19, 05:25:00 PM:

What part of "If the reports coming out of Lebanon can be believed," don't you understand?

Mind you, I realize that the rightwing bent is to quote out of context, but in this case you actually include the disclaimer before the bolded text!

Seriously, when have you righties actually considered racism as an issue unless it serves some wingnutty purpose? It's not as though you on the right are exactly known for championing the jewish community. So, what gives? The need for Rapture follow-through?  

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