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Bloggingheads
04-08-2008, 12:04 PM

laffercurveball
04-08-2008, 12:35 PM
I haven't read much of Juan Cole, but the fact that he's hated by the Corner/Marty Peretz crowd means that he probably knows what he's talking about. I've always enjoyed Drezner; it looks like this is going to be an excellent diavlog.

laffercurveball
04-08-2008, 12:36 PM
I also didn't realize that Talabani and the Iranians were close as well.

StillmanThomas
04-08-2008, 12:52 PM
Excellent, if somewhat depressing, conversation. Thank you both.

Joel_Cairo
04-08-2008, 01:08 PM
a minor nitpick, but the Kurdish/Iranian connection alluded to here (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/10036?in=00:09:43&out=00:10:19) isn't just left-over from Iraq v. Iran, it was also nurtured for years and years as the Islamic Republic gave shelter to PKK fighters (http://books.google.com/books?id=re2Tc_8XdaYC&pg=PA105&dq=%22about+Tehran%27s+support+for+the+PKK%22&sig=4aJnCsx1V3EH3uMjsMEDW8zdT5w), in an attempt to keep Turkey's regional power in check.

Joel_Cairo
04-08-2008, 01:44 PM
the awkward thing about extensive archives is (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/91?in=00:29:50&out=00:30:17)...

I'm gonna leave it there, for fear of starting an academic catfight.

bjkeefe
04-08-2008, 02:05 PM
Joel:

Wow. How did you ever find that dingalink?

bjkeefe
04-08-2008, 02:32 PM
Excellent, if somewhat depressing, conversation. Thank you both.

Yes, I agree completely. It was nice to hear a discussion of Iraq without having to suffer through cheerleader spin. I'll grant that Juan has an obvious lens through which he views events in the Middle East, but with that in mind, I found Dan's questioning approach more helpful than I would have someone else saying, "The Surge is working. Tranquility is just around the corner."

look
04-08-2008, 02:36 PM
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/10036

threep
04-08-2008, 02:39 PM
Yeah, because I want to find that old conversation about social kissing so I can link to it at a vulnerable moment for Bob.

Joel_Cairo
04-08-2008, 03:06 PM
Wow. How did you ever find that dingalink?

http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x128/stomadial/Roll.jpg

actually, for whatever reason the specificity of Drez's last few words sparked a memory of that episode from '06, so I searched back and found it (I work as a cataloging librarian; mining indexes of media content is my job)

Sgt Schultz
04-08-2008, 04:05 PM
This Juan Cole?
http://tinyurl.com/3eprwr
Oh balls. People still credit this pantload?

AemJeff
04-08-2008, 04:27 PM
This Juan Cole?
http://tinyurl.com/3eprwr
Oh balls. People still credit this pantload?

If your aim is to debunk, or challenge somebody's usefulness as an authority, wouldn't you need to go to a source with equal or greater credibility?

bjkeefe
04-08-2008, 04:29 PM
This Juan Cole?
http://tinyurl.com/3eprwr
Oh balls. People still credit this pantload?

Nothing like an anonymous blogger to serve as an irrefutable source. You're right: Juan Cole is now completely non-credible.

In other news, I read on other blogs that cars can be run on air, Einstein is wrong about relativity, and the Iraqis are just about ready to give us candy and flowers.

bjkeefe
04-08-2008, 04:32 PM
look:

I don't know why you put that link there, but it made me think: It would be a good idea for the comment that starts the thread (created by user BloggingHeads) to include a link to the related diavlog.

look
04-08-2008, 04:41 PM
look:

I don't know why you put that link there, but it made me think: It would be a good idea for the comment that starts the thread (created by user BloggingHeads) to include a link to the related diavlog.

Yes, Michael mentioned that once, too. Today I was loading my ipod for travel, and it was a pain to have to use the search for older ones...maybe some of us posters could create a link at the beginning of diavlogs as they come up.

I'm off!

ledocs
04-08-2008, 05:45 PM
Nice to see Juan Cole on bloggingheads, and this was informative.

One criticism. I have always assumed that there are various military nightmare scenarios about foreign armies coming into Iraq after the US withdraws. The fear can't just be that US prestige will suffer after a withdrawal. But these scenarios were not addressed, or even alluded to.

bjkeefe
04-08-2008, 06:09 PM
ledocs:

One criticism. I have always assumed that there are various military nightmare scenarios about foreign armies coming into Iraq after the US withdraws. The fear can't just be that US prestige will suffer after a withdrawal. But these scenarios were not addressed, or even alluded to.

I agree, somewhat. But Juan did touch on the idea of Iran being rejected by the Iraqis once the US troops were out of the picture, so the thought was there at least a little bit.

I grant that this is different from considering the possibility of an all-out invasion by Iran. Somehow, though, the idea of invading armies seems a little far-fetched. Sure, anyone would like to have full control over Iraq's oil reserves. But which one of the dictatorships in the neighborhood would want to risk the potential for upheaval, not to mention giving the US an excuse to attack them? And if, say, Iran invades, what does Saudi Arabia have to say about it?

TwinSwords
04-08-2008, 07:56 PM
Nice to see Juan Cole on bloggingheads, and this was informative.

One criticism. I have always assumed that there are various military nightmare scenarios about foreign armies coming into Iraq after the US withdraws. The fear can't just be that US prestige will suffer after a withdrawal. But these scenarios were not addressed, or even alluded to.

What Brendan said.

Plus, if the US couldn't pacify Iraq, who could? I think the US has provided a valuable object lesson to the rest of the world about the folly of trying to occupy Iraq against the will of its people, or the people of the region.

Who do you think might invade Iraq in our absence? Why would they expect better results than the US has achieved?

TwinSwords
04-08-2008, 08:23 PM
the awkward thing about extensive archives is (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/91?in=00:29:50&out=00:30:17)...

I'm gonna leave it there, for fear of starting an academic catfight.

When I watched today's discussion between Dan and Juan, I thought it was interesting that Dan twice signaled his contempt for Cole by heavily qualifying his praise for Cole's scholarship. Twice, Dan went out of his way to strictly limit his praise (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/10036?in=00:39:50) to Juan's knowledge of "the Shia in Iraq." A very narrow reading of Juan's expertise.

Your dingalink explains why: Shortly after the clip you provided, Dan says that he really only trusts Juan's expertise on that single, extremely narrow subject (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/91?in=00:30:10&out=00:30:36), and "the further away from that" Juan gets, the more he "lacks expertise" and is not worthy of "trust."

Ironically, at the same time, Dan totally misrepresents something Cole said (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/91?in=00:30:35&out=00:30:47). According to Dan, Cole said that "all international relations professors in the US buy the master zionist narrative."

What Juan actually said: "Personally, I think that the master narrative of Zionist historiography is dominant in the American academy. Mostly this sort of thing is taught by International Relations specialists in political science departments, and a lot of them are Zionists, whether Christian or Jewish. Usually the narrative blames the Palestinians for their having been kicked off their own land, and then blames them again for not going quietly. It is not a balanced point of view, and if we take the NYT seriously... then the IR professors should be made to teach a module on the Palestinian point of view, as well. That is seldom done."

I suppose I don't need to point out that "all" means something very different from "dominant," "a lot of," and "usually," and "never" means something quite different from "seldom."

"Personally" and "I think" are other important qualifiers ignored by Drezner when he was radically mischaracterizing Cole's remarks.

submersibledirigible
04-08-2008, 10:03 PM
maybe ABC could ask each candidate the specifics of their withdraw plan, as it relates to those Iraqis who have cooperated with US forces (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/10036?in=00:32:37&out=00:34:21). That question, it seems to me, is forward thinking, pragmatic, and could be revealing of the candidates broader foreign policy beliefs, their thoughts on our international obligations in the post Iraq war Middle East, etc.. More importantly, the question hasn't already been asked 10,000 times, in a million different ways.

Does anyone know where I might find the HRC campaign statements Mr. Drezner alludes to in the dingalink above? I've done some searches of her campaign site, and several other broader searches, but haven't uncovered any statements addressing the amnesty for Iraqis issue specifically. It might also be instructive to ask them about the Kurdistan residual force proposal, or for more specifics regarding their post-withdraw Iraq strategy.

harkin
04-08-2008, 10:19 PM
How interesting of Cole to state flatly that, regardless of what the preceding statement is, if someone follows it by replying "so what?", it is automatically negated.

Oh for Hitchens to be fed that hanging curve.

bjkeefe
04-08-2008, 10:54 PM
harkin:

How interesting of Cole to state flatly that, regardless of what the preceding statement is, if someone follows it by replying "so what?", it is automatically negated.

I think you're mischaracterizing Cole there. He did not say the preceding statement is negated; he said something more like: If you're trying to present the results of something that you've been doing, and the immediate response is "So what?", then your results aren't that impressive.

Joel_Cairo
04-08-2008, 11:13 PM
Your dingalink explains why: Shortly after the clip you provided, Dan says that he really only trusts Juan's expertise on that single, extremely narrow subject (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/91?in=00:30:10&out=00:30:36), and "the further away from that" Juan gets, the more he "lacks expertise" and is not worthy of "trust."


Indeed it does. I ended it where I did intentionally, to hedge against the (highly unlikely) scenario in which Cole would see it, Drez would be embarrassed, and then there would be this awkward cold-shouldering thing between Cole & Drez at the next Ivory Tower buffet.

TwinSwords
04-09-2008, 01:07 AM
I ended it where I did intentionally, to hedge against the (highly unlikely) scenario in which Cole would see it, Drez would be embarrassed, and then there would be this awkward cold-shouldering thing between Cole & Drez at the next Ivory Tower buffet.

Right. I saw your original remark, "I'm gonna leave it there, for fear of starting an academic catfight." But you ended the clip on something of a cliffhanger, and I couldn't resist hearing how Dan was going to finish the sentence that started with the words "my read on Juan's blog is..."

Especially after Dan issued his deeply exasperated rolling of the eyes (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/91?in=00:30:09&out=00:30:12) in response to Bob's observation that Cole is very knowledgeable.

I like Dan a lot. He's one of the best bloggingheads, even more so among the conservatives. But I thought it was interesting that he appears to hold Cole in such contempt, and even more interesting that he carelessly misrepresented Cole while (ironically) challenging Cole's credibility.

TwinSwords
04-09-2008, 01:13 AM
look:

I don't know why you put that link there, but it made me think: It would be a good idea for the comment that starts the thread (created by user BloggingHeads) to include a link to the related diavlog.

You're right: That is a great idea (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=71103#post71103).

It would take no effort, and would greatly simplify moving between the forum and the diavlogs.

This would be especially valuable for users who somehow find themselves in a forum thread without having come from the corresponding video. If you were to follow a link to a forum thread from another site, especially if it was an older thread, it would be virtually impossible to find the corresponding video.

It's a simple and obvious step that would improve the usability of the site. There's no reason they should not begin doing it immediately.

TwinSwords
04-09-2008, 01:28 AM
Dan Drezner to too smart to make this bullshit allegation (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/10036?in=00:04:55&=00:05:40).*

He cannot possibly believe that "everyone will probably acknowledge" that Iraq will not soon be covered with rose petals and baby powder. Surely, Dan knows that at least many, if not most conservative Republicans still believe in that grotesque fantasy. Hell, I still regularly encounter loons and wingnuts from Dan's party that believe Iraq is CURRENTLY a Jeffersonian paradise. If Dan himself doesn't, bravo, but let's not pretend that the Republican Party isn't still in total denial and committed to driving America off a cliff in pursuit of that fantasy, with Dan's help.

Just today, Sen. Liebermann said (http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/04/lieberwhat.php) Iraq has made more progress on political reconciliation than the US. What fools we must endure.

*Note: For fun I am paraphrasing Dan's use (http://www.danieldrezner.com/archives/001983.html) of the harsh language "too smart to make the following bullshit allegation."

bjkeefe
04-09-2008, 01:38 AM
Will I never have an original idea?

Sorry for not remembering your earlier post, Twin.

TwinSwords
04-09-2008, 02:39 AM
Will I never have an original idea?

Sorry for not remembering your earlier post, Twin.

Oh, sheesh, don't worry about it. I'm glad you gave voice to the idea on the off chance some BHTV bigwig will see it and take your suggestion.

ledocs
04-09-2008, 05:16 AM
First, I did mean to say that scenarios involving foreign armies were particularly credible. I don't know what the scenarios are, because I've never heard or read anything about them. But they must exist. Possible invaders include not just Iran, but Turkey, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. And the point of such an invasion need not be, and would probably not be, military occupation of the country, establishment of permanent military bases, and so on. It could just be to reestablish order, to favor one side or a particular coalition in an ongoing civil war, but most particularly to gain control of some oil or pipelines or something. That is, the likeliest post-US scenario is civil war, with substantial continued interference not only from Iran, but also from any or all of the other neighboring countries I have mentioned. The question becomes when that interference might take the form of overt cross-border military forays. But, as I say, I am not saying that this will happen, or is likely to happen, but only that it must have been a fear in the minds of US military planners and at least some US politicians, but these fears are not spelled out in widely disseminated forums.

Joel_Cairo
04-09-2008, 12:55 PM
I like Dan a lot. He's one of the best bloggingheads, even more so among the conservatives. But I thought it was interesting that he appears to hold Cole in such contempt, and even more interesting that he carelessly misrepresented Cole while (ironically) challenging Cole's credibility.

Yeah, I was just trying to be diplomatic and avoid bruised egos (on Cole's part) or embarrassment (on Dan's). I figured us veteran BhTVers would know to clip the endpoint off the URL to reveal Drez's full opinion, but figured a more casual viewer (or, say, relatively unexperienced Blogginghead) wouldn't.

It is interesting that Dan has this impression of Cole, particularly because Dan is far from a specialist in this area. By way of comparison, Steve Clemons was much more lavish in his praise of Cole's expertise, and seemed generally to hold him in high regard. I think this probably has to do with Steve & Dan's respective p.o.v.s, with Steve being a Beltway veteran and policy-maker guy, while Dan is a true-blue academic. Given Dan's relative ignorance of the inner-workings of Shia culture, this leads me to believe his ambivalence towards Cole has more to do with Cole's scholarship, and fealty to the proper standards of the trade, than with the actual substance of Cole's positions and prescriptions.

piscivorous
04-09-2008, 02:56 PM
I was wondering if any one else noticed the seeming disconnect between the following two points that Professor Cole made.
1 That we could get the troops out in 12 months.
2 We have an absolute moral imperative to protect the Iraqi's that have openly aided us.

If it is true that we could get 150,000 troops out of Iraq, the Pentagon says it will take 24 months for a well planed an orderly withdrawal. Split the difference call it 18 get a fairly well planed and orderly withdrawal. But wait in that process we must also evacuate 300,000-400,000 civilians the we have an absolute moral imperative to protect. I think the Professor Cole may need to rethink his time line.

bjkeefe
04-09-2008, 03:09 PM
pisc:

That's an interesting observation, and on the surface of it, I agree: it does seem like a serious problem in logistics. Even if one assumed that there was someplace for them all to go, just moving that many people would take some serious effort. Add to that this worry: I'd think that tens of thousands per month leaving their neighborhoods would be noticeable, and there would be a risk of sparking a hunt for "American sympathizers."

On the other hand, I have to wonder if there really are hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in such dire straits. Somehow, they're surviving now, and it can't be the case that this is due solely to American troops protecting them.

piscivorous
04-09-2008, 03:48 PM
I at first thought that Professor Cole's estimate might be a little high, but if you take in to consideration the nature of the Iraqi family and the revenge mentality (I don't mean this pejoratively but in an eye for an eye sense) of of the culture; how much of the extended family do you have to take along before the revenge factor is removed. The study of the cultural norms and family structure of Iraq is well within the realms of Professors Cole's knowledge.

lamoose
04-09-2008, 04:17 PM
I'm sure that any process of absorbing tens or hundreds of thousands of Iraqis would be a total nightmare. Lifting all of them from a warzone would be very messy and costly. However, I think a lot of these people are probably already outside of Iraq, living in Jordan or Syria. And if they weren't, perhaps we could come to some kind of agreement with these countries to house them while the process ran its course over 2-5 years.

Also, Cole alluded to something that Drezner didn't hear correctly, but I think is a major factor in the political calculation: the American people, especially those on the Right, are not going to be in favor of naturalizing hundreds of thousands of Arabs. I believe the occasionally hysterical response to hispanic immigration would pale in comparison.

Here (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/03/26/070326fa_fact_packer)'s a great piece in the New Yorker by George Packer that alludes to the greater issue. It's long, but good. i thought this passage was especially poignant and sad:

Richard Armitage, who was Deputy Secretary of State under Colin Powell during the first years of the Iraq war, served as a naval officer in Vietnam. In the last days of that war, he returned as a civilian, on a mission to destroy military assets before they fell into North Vietnamese hands. He arrived too late, and instead turned his energy to the evacuation of South Vietnamese sailors and their families. Armitage led a convoy of barely seaworthy boats, carrying twenty thousand people, a thousand miles across the South China Sea to Manila—the first stop on their journey to the United States.

When I met Armitage recently, at his office in Arlington, Virginia, he was not confident that Iraqis would be similarly resettled. “I guarantee you no one’s thinking about it now, because it’s so fatalistic and you’d be considered sort of a traitor to the President’s policy,” he said. “I don’t see us taking them in this time, because, notwithstanding what we may owe people, you’re not going to bring in large numbers of Arabs to the United States, given the fact that for the last six years the President has scared the pants off the American public with fears of Islamic terrorism.”

jbmooney
04-12-2008, 01:02 PM
Thanks for one of the best diavlogs ever. "I can has more Dr. Cole pleez?"