RECOMMENDED READING

Dan of tdaxp has a very-well reasoned post ” Every Man a Panzer, Every Woman a Soldat” that comprises the third part of his 4GW and Christianity series ( here is Part I. and Part II) where he integrates PNM concepts of Leviathan and System Administration and gender roles in warfare. The graphics quality is also exceptionally high. Strongly recommended.

Marc Schulman of the American Future has set off an interesting and lively discussion in his comments section with his post “Thank You Tom Friedman“. Marc has been a blogging house of fire of late so check out his more recent postings as well.

Callimachus of Done with Mirrors is now contributing to a new group blog, Donklephant, freshly added to the blogroll. Check it out.

On the issue of General Zhu, Jeff of Caerdroia weighs in with ” Taiwan” and also links to Qando. Simon at Simon World has not analyzed the story but directs his readers to Jing at Those Who Dare.

Dave at the Glittering Eye defends Juan Cole from blogospheric ” dogpiling“. I’m going to second Dave on this issue. I’ve had my differences with Juan Cole over the years and I think Cole’s passionate loathing of the Bush administration frequently affects his analysis – especially when connected to neoconservatism- but Dave’s points about Cole are valid ones.

Moreover, in my email contacts with Professor Cole I have always found him to be a gentleman as well as an astute scholar about Mideastern culture and Islam. I can honestly say that I have learned a number of things from reading his blog and H-Net posts that I would not have known otherwise. Our debates on H-Diplo were always productive, civil and very interesting intellectual exchanges. If bloggers don’t like what Cole is writing then they should attack his arguments and not go after him on a personal level.

2 comments on this post.
  1. Anonymous:

    While I am not a regular reader of Cole, the few times I have read his work I have been dissappointed. I could barely get a paragraph into the work when the pile of factual errors and oversights becomes too great. He seems hopelessly partisan and biased in his analysis. Glittering Eye says as much in his post and I was surprised at how easily he dismisses Cole’s weaknesses.
    It’s been a few months, so with your recommendation, I will go back for another look.

    Barnabus

  2. mark:

    Hi Barnabus,

    Cole’s partisanship distorts his analysis of American foreign policy- no argument. I have firsthand experience in that regard and I don’t expect Cole to change and give Bush the credit he would have given Clinton in identical circumstances.

    However, if you want to know how and why the Sevener Shia differ from Twelver or why a particular Iraqi tribal leader is good at mediating sectarian disputes in Iraq, Cole is a good source. I’d read him for that kind of information. I’d also recommend Crossroads Arabia and Martin Kramer ( who is also critical of Cole for the reasonns you cite)