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Monday, July 24, 2006


filtering Cole

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, July 24, 2006 permalink View blog reactions
Paleoprog over at American Footprints runs a few fact-check cycles on Juan Cole (not to be confused with John Cole). While I don't take issue with the substance, I left a comment disagreeing with his style:

While a response to Cole is a good thing - after all, continued dialouge on the topic is the best way to clear away the half-truths and misconceptions of the sort which you did a fine job in addressing herein - I don't understand why people accord to Cole's analysis the importance that they do. Cole is invaluabel for his translations and his knowledge of the Shi'a and Lebanese histories. As far as his analysis goes, as you pointed out, he's a lightweight. Ultimately I think it's harmful to paint him as a completely useless source because he does add value to the discussion, after proper filtering.

And really, calling his misstatements "lies" is just too strong. You think he is being deliberately mendacious? I think it's more a case of pulling facts out of his ass when he's too lazy to look them up.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.