Posted by Curt on 26 December, 2007 at 4:45 pm. 6 comments already!


Juan Cole has written a embarrassing post which just goest to prove that liberals are so invested in the defeat of our country that they will ignore reality and instead pawn off myths as some kind of facts, and facts as myths. 

This time he lists the “top 10 myths” about Iraq.  Some of his doozies are that there really is no reconciliation going on in Iraq between the rival factions.  Of course this ignores recent studies that show a majority of Sunni’s and Shia describing themselves as Iraqi’s above all else and almost no one inside Iraq believe separating Iraq would be a good thing:

Sixty-two per cent of Iraqis still say Iraq should have
a unified central government, and 98% say it would be a bad thing for
the country to separate along sectarian lines.

Cole argues that attacks against civilians still continue, which should shock no one since attacks against civilians inside our own country still continue, and will continue to the end of our days.  Unfortunately a utopia has yet to be found.  Hell, in New York state (population 20 million) there were close to 1,000 murders in 2006 and 84,000 violent attacks. 

Fact: in the past 6 weeks, there have been an average of 600 attacks a
month, or 20 a day, which has held steady since the beginning of
November. About 600 civilians are being killed in direct political
violence per month, but that number excludes deaths of soldiers and
police. Across the board, Iraqis believe that their conflicts are mainly caused by the US military presence and they are eager for it to end.

Of course they are eager for us to leave.  We are eager to leave.  But they also recognize that we must stay until they can deal with the security situation themselves  Pointing out that Iraqi’s want us to finish the job and leave proves nothing whatsoever.  It’s common sense. 

One of his more idiotic “facts”:

6. Myth: The US overthrow of the Baath regime and military occupation of Iraq has helped liberate Iraqi women. Fact: Iraqi women have suffered significant reversals of status, ability to circulate freely, and economic situation under the Bush administration.

According to the article he links to women have it worse off because of their men are being killed off and because the ability to move about freely is hindered due to the violence that is raging. 

Nevermind that the violence described had dissipated immensely.

Nevermind that Juan ignores other studies that show it was much worse for Iraqi women before we got there including the fact that by 2000 less then 25% of Iraqi women were literate:

Women and girls have also suffered from increasing restrictions on their freedom of mobility and protections under the law.  In collusion with conservative religious groups and tribal leaders, the government issued numerous decrees and introduced legislation negatively impacting women’s legal status in the labor code, criminal justice system, and personal status laws. In 2001, the U.N. Special Rapporteur for Violence against Women reported that since the passage of the reforms in 1991, an estimated 4,000 women and girls had been victims of “honor killings.”


In 1998, the government reportedly dismissed all females working as secretaries in governmental agencies.30 In June 2000, it also reportedly enacted a law requiring all state ministries to put restrictions on women working outside the home. Women’s freedom to travel abroad was also legally restricted and formerly co-educational high schools were required by law to provide single-sex education only, further reflecting the reversion to religious and tribal traditions.  As a result of these combined forces, by the last years of Saddam Hussein’s government the majority of women and girls had been relegated to traditional roles within the home.

Dr. Sanity notes a fact overlooked by Juan:

Under the pretext of fighting prostitution, units of “Fedayeen Saddam,”
the paramilitary organization led by Uday Hussein, Saddam’s eldest son,
have beheaded in public more than 200 women throughout the country,
dumping their severed heads at their families’ doorsteps. Many families
have been required to display the victim’s head on their outside fences
for several days. These barbaric acts were carried out in the total
absence of any proper judicial procedures and many of the victims were
not engaged in prostitution, but were targeted for political reasons.
For example, Najat Mohammad Haydar, an obstetrician in Baghdad, was
beheaded after criticizing the corruption within health services.
(Amnesty International Report, Iraq: Systematic Torture of Political
Prisoners, August 2001; Iraqi Women’s League in Damascus, Syria)

In fact I would suggest an excellent book for Juan to peruse called Mayada, Daughter of Iraq: One Woman’s Survival Under Saddam Hussein, which would disabuse him of any belief that somehow, someway, women were all flying kites during Saddam’s reign. 

Another of Juan’s facts:

10. Myth: The US public no longer sees Iraq as a central issue in the 2008 presidential campaign

Hey, I agree with that one.  Problem is that the Democrat political leaders are now the ones who no longer want to see Iraq as a central issue because they know its a loser.  Success inside Iraq has hurt Democrats who have only cried “disaster” “cut and run” and “quagmire” for 3 years now.

Karl at Protein Wisdom did his own post on debunking Juan’s list:

quotes Cole: “Among the primary effects of the ‘surge’ has been to
turn Baghdad into an overwhelmingly Shiite city and to displace
hundreds of thousands of Iraqis from the capital.”

The facts and data backing that assertion?  Cole claims that between
January, 2007, and July, 2007, Baghdad went from 65% Shiite to 75%
Shiite.  Yes, a whopping 10% shift in the population.  Neither Cole nor
Sullivan can be bothered to note the Iraqi Christians who fled a
district of Baghdad that declared itself an al-Qaeda caliphate have returned home to celebrate their first Christmas in two years.  Or the thousands of Iraqi Christians who made their way to church
through checkpoints and streets lined with blast walls, to celebrate
Christmas Mass in numbers unthinkable a year ago.  Plus, nothing says
“deepening sectarian divide” like a peace march and and talks to relink Sunni and Shia neighborhoods in Baghdad.

Incredibly Juan also doesn’t believe the reports that Iran sent IED’s into Iraq but does note that if they did, then hell, it was only because they sent the stuff to their allies inside Iraq who then unbeknownst to them sold it off to those who killed Americans.  I mean come on, Iran would never want to harm Americans.


Lastly, this”fact” of Juan’s:

5. Myth: Some progress has been made by the Iraqi government in meeting
the “benchmarks” worked out with the Bush administration. Fact:
in the words of Democratic Senator Carl Levin, “Those legislative
benchmarks include approving a hydrocarbon law, approving a
debaathification law, completing the work of a constitutional review
committee, and holding provincial elections
. Those commitments,
made 1 1/2 years ago, which were to have been completed by January of
2007, have not yet been kept by the Iraqi political leaders despite the
breathing space the surge has provided.”

One answer:


Ed Morrissey has the info on some bills passed by the Iraqi’s today including providing pensions for those Sunni’s who lost it after the fall of Saddam (one more step towards reconciliation that Juan says is not, nor will it ever, happen).

All in all another of a humdinger from Juan.  Don Surber said he:

…knocks down all 10 strawmen he sets up.

I respect Professor Juan Cole’s knowledge of the Middle
East but his post today on “Top Ten Myths about Iraq 2007” was
propaganda disguised as scholarship.

His myths were myths.

And I would have to agree.  It basically comes down to the same ole’ liberal mantra that Iraq was a beautiful, happy, peaceful place before the big bad United States came in and ruined it all.  It’s a wonder that people like Juan Cole do not give themselves a stroke from their BDS frustration.

Poor fella.  Give that man a martini or something.

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