Thursday, May 04, 2006

Sicilian Cage Match: Cole versus Hitchens

This is better than Mexican wrestling. All it needs is the proper arena setting
and some fancy outfits.

To those who don't know, Juan Cole is a notoriously hard Left College `professor' and poseur at MSU who is noted as an apologist for Islamic terrorism..which of course is the fault of the Evil BushCo United States. Hitchens is a noted journalist, a formerly well respected leftist who had a few second thoughts after 9/11, and wasn't embarrased to say so. Which,of course, has earned him some particularly rancid personal attacks from his old pals on the Left.

The Left hates apostates. Almost as much as Muslims do.

Recently Hitchens took Cole to task for the singular stupidity of insisting that Ahmadinejad of Iran never said anything about wiping Israel off the face of the map, and that Iran would never attack Israel. As part of the article, Hitchens somehow obtained an e-mail of Cole's that underlines this inanity and called Cole's self-proclaimed mastery of Farsi and all things Iranian into question. As Hitchens aptly titled it `The Cole Report: On Iran, he distorts, you decide.'

Cole went berserk, to say the least. In his over the top reply, rather than actually reply to Hitchen's points Cole went for the jugular, accusing Hitchens of being a drunk, a hacker, etc. and even including some throwback sixties rhetoric:

All the warmongers in Washington, including Hitchens, if he falls into that camp, should get this through their heads. Americans are not fighting any more wars in the Middle East against toothless third rate powers. So sit down and shut up.

One, two, three, four! We don't want your stinking war!

We are not going to see any more US troops come home in body bags at Dover for the sake of some Cheney affiliate grabbing the petroleum in Iran's Ahvaz fields....

Hitchens has for some time had a very serious and debilitating drinking problem. He once showed up drunk to a talk I gave and heckled me. I can only imagine that he was deep in his cups when he wrote, or had some far Rightwing think tank write, his current piece of yellow journalism....

In another place, Cole compared the election of Iran's Ahmadinejad to `the dirty tricks George Bush used to get elected'!

Yes, America..this is a college professor who's teaching your young on the taxpayer's dime....cue the `Twilight Zone' theme.

Had Cole left well enough alone or even simply posted something remotely appropriate in reply, he would have been better off. Of course, the ludicrous attack by Cole brought out the pitbull in Hitchens, who came roaring back with an interview on Hugh Hewitt's program.. a superb example of the sublime art of ridicule that had to have left some bloody bruises:

CH:Well, some of your listeners may know of Professor Cole of the University of Michigan. He is acclaimed, at least by himself, expert on matters Shiia, particularly, and he also says he's fluent in Arabic, Persian and Urdu. And for all I know, he is. But he's 10th rate, and he's a sordid apologist for Islamist terrorism, and for Islamist terrorist regimes. And I've been on his case for a while. But he recently wrote in a blog conversation group he takes part in, that Ahmadinejead had never said that about wiping Israel off the face of the Earth, and neither had his role model, Ayatollah Khomeini. They'd never said it. It was a sort of slander. So I thought well, this isn't going to take me very long. And I have a lot of Iranian friends who, alas for them, can't live in their own country anymore, because of the hideous tyranny there, and who hate people who make excuses for their regime, as they should. And with their help, I was able to show very easily what I had long known, that Khomeini's statement that Israel must be completely destroyed has been a canonical statement in Iran for a long time. Ahmadinejead was only repeating it. He probably was a bit surprised at how much attention it got, given how commonplace the thought is to him. But that it is nothing but a lie to say that this is not a statement from the Iranian theocrats, and it also suggests very strongly, which is the fun bit, that Professor Juan Cole does not know what he is talking about, in any language.

HH: (laughing)

CH: His English is, by the way, very poor. I can't believe his Persian is excellent, because his English is lousy. {...}

Yowwch. It gets better, but I'll let you enjoy the rest here.....

I by no means agree with Hitchens on every thing he's written, but he certainly is right about Cole.

Poor Juan Cole. If he wasn't such an anti-American, ignorant pissant, I'd actually feel a little sorry for somebody battling so far out of their intellectual weight class.

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