Wednesday, August 02, 2006

David Bernstein over at

always seems to protest too much. Especially as it relates to Juan Cole. He once claimed that Cole said that "Israel is the most dangerous regime to American interests in the Middle East." Not surprisingly, Prof. Bernstein had materially misquoted Prof. Cole. By contrast, Cole's quote, which was admittedly provacative, was that "Ariel Sharon's government was the regime that did the most damage to US interests." In the comments to his post, I argued that Bernstein's omission of the word regime altered the entire meaning of the quote.

Similarly, this Bernstein post over at the Volokh Conspiracy strains credibilty. First, he quotes Cole:
As for the Iraq War, puh-lease. Opinion polling shows that in spring of 2003, some 75 percent of Americans wanted to go to war against Saddam's regime. At the same time, only a little over 50 percent of American Jews supported the war. "Jews" did not cause the Iraq War. George W. Bush caused the Iraq War. He had Gentile advisers who wanted him to go for it. He had a handful of Jewish advisers who wanted him to go for it. But he is the president. It was his decision. And the American Jewish community was distinctly lukewarm about the whole idea, and very divided.
He then tries to contrast this statement with several Cole quotes assigning some blame for US mid-east policy to Likud, Ariel Sharon and their US allies (namely the neo-cons). Those quotes, Bernstein says, conflict with the passage above. Hmmm... indeed.

Would Bernstein really have us believe that Likud is the same as the international Jewish population? Hell, even Ariel Sharon moved out of Likud in the years after we invaded Iraq. I know a lot of jews (I also have black friends) and most of them were and are agaisn the Iraq war. But we're to believe that they're Likud party members or Ariel Sharon supporters?

I hate to go all ad hominem at this point, but I'm pretty happy I didn't have Prof. Bernstein for a law school teacher.

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