Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Informed? comment

Experts tend to know that when journalists report on their subject, things get twisted up and wrong. You start to evaluate a publication by looking at how it does on subjects you know, and assume that its work is consistently at the same level.

I’ve been (cautiously) reading Informed Comment, by Juan Cole. He tends to throw around the word “Likudnik” to refer to anyone to his right. He displays a bias that Israel is to blame, and so I’d taken to skipping his comments on Israel. I was also ignoring my consistency rule. Today, Iraq The Model writes a long article:

I was surfing the net as usual to find out what’s happening in the world, as I rely mainly on the net instead of TV now When I came across this article by Dr Juan Cole that made me feel ashamed of myself. This man who doesn’t live in Iraq seems to know more about the history of Iraq than I do. In his article he was criticizing the westerns, journalists in particular, for making judgments without knowing much about Iraq’s history, which I must admit is true.

He also provide a link to another article by a professor of Arab studies in the university of Colombia and use it as a reference to back up his theory. What Dr. Cole was trying to tell us, as you can see in his article, is that Fallujah is celebrated in Iraq’s history as a symbol for the large rebellion/revolution against the British back in 1920. His source, Dr. Rasheedi goes as far as considering Fallujah the start point of that event and says in his article:
“To restore Iraq to their control, the British used massive air power, bombing indiscriminately. That city is now called Fallujah.”

Anyway, I don’t know which is worse; that the two experts in Arb world didn’t know about Dr. Al Wardi and his writings or that they knew but chose Sadam’s version of Iraq’s history!?

I don’t know who Dr Al Wardi is, but I’m getting the feeling I should trust the consistency rule.