ABC: Anything But Cole

Juan Cole is running two campaigns on his blog. One is against Israel—business as usual for Cole. The other is promoting his blog in the 2008 Weblog Awards competition (Middle East category), where there are ten finalists (I am one).

Yesterday, Cole called on his readers to turn out and vote for him. His pitch? “The ‘Middle East’ category is dominated by Neocons. Where are Marc Lynch (Abu Aardvark), Helena Cobban, Angry Arab, Raed in the Middle, etc., etc. I think the initial nomination voting must have been orchestrated.” In other words: a neocon conspiracy! It’s even subverted the 2008 Weblog Awards!

So Cole, having raised the specter of the neocons, riled up his supporters, and his vote count rose considerably, putting him in the lead. But at that point, he must have realized that it was unseemly for him to have dismissed the procedures of an award he might even win. (Hey, with all those neocon blogs splitting the neocon vote, he could emerge on top! They’ve screwed up, like in Iraq!) No problem. Just cut out the offending passage, as though it never existed.

I’m a collector of Cole’s retro-editing of blog posts. He’ll write something erroneous or outrageous, and then excise it from the record, without so much as a strikeout. In one instance, he made a crude insinuation against me, then deleted it. In another, he wrote that 9/11 was “in response to the Israeli attack on the Jenin refugee camp,” which he deleted when it turned out that, uh, Israel’s Jenin operation took place seven months after 9/11. He even once explained his “policy” on retro-editing—and then deleted that.

Anyway, below is Cole’s original blog post of yesterday, which I retrieved from the Google cache not long before it disappeared from there as well. The prospect that Cole might win this award, in the midst of his wildly biased and hate-filled blogging on Gaza, is one I find repulsive. That the award should go to someone who retro-doctors his blog is likewise repulsive. So I urge readers to vote in the Middle East category, inspired by the principle of ABC—Anything But Cole. Vote for my blog (bit of a long shot), or Michael Totten’s (a fine blog, which won last year), or Israellycool (which isn’t far behind Cole), or any other sane blog. And you can vote once every 24 hours through January 13. Match Cole’s orchestration with your own. Click here to vote.

Here is the expurgated “updated” revision of the same post, at the same url as the original.

Addendum: This very day, Cole commits some egregious errors of chronology and fact. And he has retro-edited them out once more. I explain here.

“Stop Juan Cole”: That’s the title of this post by Michael Totten, ridiculing Cole’s “asinine conspiracy theories.” Read it all.