If you weren’t actively reading blogs during the early part of the Iraq War, the name Juan Cole may be unfamiliar to you. Cole is a University of Michigan professor who alleges to be an expert on the Middle East despite a paucity of actual research in the area. He has a blog called “Informed Comment” that should have been put out of business by the Federal Trade Commission for false and misleading titling. On anything dealing with Israel he immediately becomes a rabid and drooling anti-Semite. If you are an Amerian Jew who supports Israel, he will inevitably accuse you of “dual loyalties.’ During the Iraq War he was the lodestar of the online anti-war movement because he was loud, ill-informed, and relentlessly wrong. He was too weird to get tenure at Yale despite his progressive bonafides.
Now he’s back in the news with an op-ed in The Nation. The subject is the Manchester bombing and Ariana Grande. (I’d first assumed this was a new Starbucks coffee drink but my kids assure me it is a singer).
This is the background. Last Friday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis was the guest at the daily press briefing.
Via Military Times:
The Pentagon’s approach to defeating the Islamic State is now defined as merciless annihilation, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday, summarizing what’s become a more aggressive effort in Syria, Iraq and beyond to prevent the group’s foreign fighters specifically from escaping its strongholds once local allies have them cornered.
“The foreign fighters are the strategic threat should they return home to Tunis, to Kuala Lumpur, to Paris, to Detroit. Wherever,” Mattis said. “By taking the time to deconflict, to surround and then attack, we carry out the annihilation campaign so we don’t simply transplant this problem from one location to another.”
Oddly enough, our allies are well aware of the danger posed by ISIS fighters returning to Europe. France is so concerned that they are helping the Iraqis target ISIS fighters with ties to France.
On the same day, Ariana Grande sent out this tweet:
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 26, 2017
To be kind, this is drivel but, then again, Grande is famous for singing really bad songs while wearing de minimis clothing and getting paid a lot of money for her efforts. She isn’t famed as a thinker, deep or otherwise.
Now Cole weighs in:
Professor Juan Cole made the assertion Wednesday in an op-ed for The Nation, arguing that Grande’s suggestion to combat ISIS and terror with “compassion, kindness, love, strength and oneness” would be more effective than Mattis’ strategy of “annihilating” the brutal terror group.
“Her sentiments, the essence of counterinsurgency when it comes to ISIL’s polarizing plot, were shared by Manchester Muslims, who marched in solidarity with the victims,” Cole wrote. “I’m hoping that the Pentagon follows Grande’s Twitter feed. Because she nailed it.”
Cole’s experience with counterinsurgency is limited to chickenhawking for Democrats in opposing Republican presidents and then unquestioningly supporting whatever war Obama wished to get involved in on any particular day. Mattis, unlike Cole, actually has experience in the region, he understands the politics, he understands the enemy, and he has a plan to do what Obama would not do because ISIS allowed Iran to expand its influence and that was Obama’s foreign policy in a nutshell.
We aren’t going to defeat ISIS and radical Islam by singing “Give Peace A Chance” and holding hands. We’re going to defeat it by killing them until the message sinks in that being a jihadi is not an adventure, it is a terminal experience.