Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Diss'ed by Juan Cole's "Informed Comment"

Juan Cole's "Informed Comment" website has a constantly negative portayal of Israel in the current conflict with Hizballah. So I guess I'm only slightly frustrated when he refuses to post my comments indicating a different perspective.

A friend of mine recently introduced me to Juan Cole's blog site, Informed Comment. It is certainly interesting, in that it has a largely different perspective than I do on what is happening in the Middle East. I have learned something from it, or at least been incented to do more research on Israel's history and the background of Middle Eastern conflict.

Wanting to give my perspective for people who might not be sure there is another perspective, I have taken to commenting on his site. Of the 5 or 6 times that I have commented, only two have been posted. So that I can keep track of what I said, I think I'll start posting my comments here.

I just barely posted the following, but my senses tell me that it won't get posted either. (I'll issue a full apology if I turn out to be wrong.)

I know you don't generally like to approve my comments for posting on your site, because they provide a perspective that you apparently don't want to show. But at any rate, here is another reference to how the "Qana Massacre" was likely stage managed.

Yesterday, to his endless reference to the "Qana Massacre", with obvious implication that Israelis willingly slaughtered innocent civilians, I replied (in effect, because it wasn't posted so I don't remember exactly):
If you use the words "Israel" and "Qana massacre" together often enough, there will be many more people who come to the conclusion that Israel really did massacre a whole bunch of people in Qana recently. But there are too many unanswered questions to come to that conclusion. A compendium of news stories and commentary suggesting another side of the story can be found at

Juan Cole provides an interesting contribution to the debate on the Middle East. I would expect, however, someone who is considered an expert on the issue to not be so biased on the issue.


Elizabeth said...

First of all Frank, this seems a bit hypocritical, given that you didn't post a couple of my comments on your blog.

As for Juan Cole, I can't speak for him, but there is a difference between posting an opinion--which is something that is an interpretation of facts--and posting statements that are not factual. My guess is, Juan Cole didn't post your "opinion" stating there was no massacre at Qana because in fact there was a massacre at Qana: Many news outlets, including right-wing ones, have seen and photographed the bodies. If you have an opinion on why the Qana massacre happened that would be something else entirely.

Flag Gazer said...

Most people don't want to hear both sides of an issue or different perspectives, especially experts. Most people want to hear what fits into their opinion, and if it doesn't are quick to label you rather than engage in a debate.

However, since you are now moderating comments and not approving any of them, your concern about not being posted is a bit puzzling to me.

Frank Staheli said...

Here's my latest comment that probably won't get posted by Mr. Cole:

You don't normally allow my comments on your site, but I'll try again.

Here is an alternate point of view of how Hizballah is causing and using civilian deaths to further their propaganda.

Flag Gazer said...

Excellent link - thank you!

The bad (doctored) photo from Reuters and the misinformation in the reporting of the 'Qana Massacre' are other examples that are not being reported fully.

Matt said...

I'm trying to slowly make my rounds now that I feel I have the energy again. It feels weird to be back, but hey, gotta start up school soon (don't remind me!!!). Anyway, I'll be back here, like always soon.

Dana said...

Some sites have open commenting, with only truly offensive comments deleted, and others only allow those comments the site administrator thinks he can use to make himself look better. By now you should have realized that Dr Cole's site falls among the latter.

Frank Staheli said...

To Mr. Cole's recent statement

"The deployment of Lebanese troops to the south for the first time in decades is a matter of national pride to the Lebanese, who are unbowed by a month of savage Israeli bombardment of their national infrastructure and destruction of entire villages."

my reply was:

The reason for Lebanese pride is because they plan to no longer be dictated to by Hizballah. Israel's surgical bombardment lasted a few weeks. Hizballah's domination of the South is what has lasted decades. With Hizballah's hopeful demise (admittedly not very hopeful) maybe the Lebanese and the Israelis will no longer have to live in fear of Hizballah terrorism.