Middle East studies in the News
All hail the power of AEI! [on Juan Cole's conspiracy theories]
by Dan Darling
In addition to his increasingly unhinged accusations that AEI is now controlling US foreign policy to such a degree that former scholars like David Wurmser can single-handedly plot war against Syria at the behest of the Israeli Likud party free of any executive or legislative checks whatsoever, Juan Cole now declares that AEI controls the UK Foreign Office as well together with the Rockingham Cell, which last I checked when removed from the conspiracy theories of Karen Kwiatkowski and Scott Ritter, had more to do with UK intelligence on Iraq than anything else. If memory serves, wasn't the original conspiracy line for Rockingham that it (as everything must) was also working at the behest of the Learned Elders of the Likud?
I expect this chart of the conspiracy will need to be expanded ...
Now in context, Cole, ever eager to disassociate the Iranian regime from anti-American terrorism, is trying to refute arguments that Iran is sending IEDs to support the Iraqi insurgency and cites Mahan Abedin's article in the Asia Times to do so. I have a lot of respect for Abedin, who despite our disagreements is far more up-front about the true nature of the Iranian regime than are many observers on such issues as just how much the official reformist movement is a shill for the regime or the utter illogic of the idea that there are "rogue" arms of the IRGC running around. The problem is, Cole isn't just taking Abedin's arguments on their own merits but rather reads from them a shadowy wheels-with-wheels world of conspiracies in which AEI and the Rockingham Cell control the UK Foreign Office at the behest of their (presumably Israeli) masters for all sorts of nefarious purposes.
He then repeats this charge:
There are two organizations in southern Iraq called Hizbullah. One is a component of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (a coalition of Shiite activists). The other was a vehicle for the organization of the Marsh Arabs by Abdul Karim al-Muhammadawi, the "prince of the marshes" and now a member of parliament. Both of these "Hizbullah" organizations are indigenous Iraqis. Poorly informed and perhaps also not very bright Neocons in Iraq were alarmed to see Hizbullah insignia up alongside that of SCIRI, but it was the Iraqi Hizbullah.
No offense, but how exactly does he know any of this, particularly on whether or not neocons in Iraq were alarmed when they saw the Hezbollah insignia? Some inside info or just more conspiracy-mongering because it fits into his meme du jour. Or this just more of Cole's prescient telepathy, the same way he "knew" that bin Laden launched the 9/11 in retaliation for the Israeli action in Jenin a year later?Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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