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Friday: February 24, 2006

Pseudo-Troll vs. Genuine Oaf

Filed under: — site admin @ 7:27 PM GMT-0500

How hard is it to get a critical comment onto Juan Cole’s Informed Comment? Pretty hard, if this one (on this post) doesn’t pass muster:

Would you please stop writing things like “guerrillas set up a phony checkpoint and pulled 47 largely Shiite factory workers off a bus and summarily executed them”. Change “guerrillas” to “terrorists” and “summarily executed” to “murdered”, and your statement is unexceptionable. As written it is simply false.

Guerrilla is a legitimate occupation, protected by the Geneva Conventions, and these murderers may act as guerrillas on other days, attacking legitimate military targets, but in this instance they were acting as simple terrorists. (Lt. Calley was a legitimate soldier through most of his military career, but on at least one day at My Lai he was a mass-murdering terrorist. These guys are exactly the same.) I hope I don’t have to explain why killing innocent people is murder, not ‘execution’.

It’s been almost nine hours since I submitted this, and ten other comments on the same post have been approved in that time, but mine has yet to appear. Cole’s comment page says that he “does not allow anonymous comments”, but mine is pseudonymous rather than anonymous, and he has approved comments from “Clive of the Islands”, “The Diarist”, “presstech”, “copy editor”, and plenty of others just as pseudonymous as I. Perhaps I should have addressed mine to “Professor Cole” with a deep virtual bow and then done a little preliminary sucking-up before getting to the point. Or perhaps Cole should stop being such an intellectual oaf, admit it when he’s wrong, and try not to make the same mistake over and over again. Though common, that kind of arrogance is particularly unfortunate in someone who professes to be a teacher and a scholar.

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