Correction #2

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Last updated on July 23rd, 2017 at 07:35 am

Professor Juan Cole, currently being put to rights by Martin Kramer, apologises in a different style; he doesn’t really apologise. After claiming that Osama bin Laden had engineered September 11 “in response to the Israeli attack on the Jenin refugee camp”—an operation that took place seven months after 9/11—Cole wrote:

I post late at night and sometimes am sleepy and make mistakes … If someone wants to accuse me of occasionally making minor errors, then sure. I occasionally make minor errors.

But that error—suggesting a motive for September 11 that isn’t chronologically possible—doesn’t seem much like the sort of mistake one makes due to weariness, or keyboard slippage. Cole didn’t misspell a word or post a broken link; he invented a rationale for 9/11 that bin Laden himself couldn’t possibly have claimed, and sheeted it home to the al-Qaeda bigshot. Talk about projection. Cole subsequently called for a Daily Kos-led fatwa against Kramer:

Please do up an oppo research diary on Martin Kramer. Who is he? Where did he come from?

Nobody knows! Cole—a “leading US commentator on the war”, according to leading Australian commentator on nothing Margo Kingston—was also outraged and appalled by suggestions that the London terrorists may have been British citizens:

First, we still have no idea who did this. It is very likely the “Qaeda al-Jihad in Europe” group that claimed responsibility immediately. Their statement appeared very quickly after the bombings and yet had none of the appearance of being rushed. That suggests it was carefully composed before the fact. The rumors that the statement has errors in the Arabic or the Quran citation are absolutely incorrect …

The statement was probably not written by a second-generation Arab Briton or even by a long-term, integrated Arab Briton resident.

So, if the statement is a guide to the identity of the attackers, this bombing could not have emanated from the British Muslim community.

As Tony Badran asks: “My question is, did he get anything right on the London attack?!”

Posted by Tim B. on 07/14/2005 at 11:52 AM
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