Across the Bay

Monday, September 06, 2004

Cole Me Advocate

Iraqpundit wrote on Saturday that there was an anti-Sadr demonstration in Najaf on Friday, and his source was the Iraqi Az-Zaman (also picked up by the WaPo).

Cole had dedicated one sentence to that demonstration:

A small demonstration was held against Muqtada al-Sadr by Najafis.

Today he mentions another anti-Sadr demonstration, which he picked up from the Washington Times -- whose story mentioned that this was the second such demonstration in a couple of days -- and again does so in the briefest of fashions, with no commentary to follow:

There was a demonstration on Sunday in Najaf against the Mahdi Army militiamen, and clashes broke out on Monday as US forces searched for weapons stores of the militia and came under fire from the remnants still in Najaf.

The reason I highlighted the various sources that related the stories is because the Az-Zaman report quoted by Iraqpundit, and not touched by Cole, also mentions that several clerics filed a complaint with the Hawza against the Sadrists for acts of torture and killings that have taken place in the religious courts that belong to the Sadrists. The language related in the report is quite harsh. It's not new that Sadr has been bullying people left and right, and Iraqpundit's post mentions interesting information on the keys to Najaf and Karbala that might shed light on the murder of al-Khoei and his companion who had possession of the key. The point is that there are several pieces of information that would warrant comment from Cole, the self-proclaimed oracle on matters Iraqi, if not one of his fantastical conspiracy theories. But apparently he saves those for neocons, Likudniks, Israel, and most recently Walid Phares!

On the other hand, his post on another demonstration in Fallujah was followed with the usual Cole shrillness, lamenting why the US public is not seeing this demonstration on TV:

It struck me that the speakers at this demonstration and their sentiments are not being seen on US television news, and it is a shame. Even if Americans just want to understand their enemy, they would have to be aware of these sentiments. My perception is that we almost never see dissidents or opposition figures speaking freely on US cable news, and seldom on the networks.

I guess the US public shouldn't expect to get more than one or two sentences on anti-Sadr sentiments on Cole's site either. Instead, we hear this Hallmark-style romanticism in a recent piece in the WaPo, that rivals the kind of poetics heard on Al-Manar TV:

As for Sadr, he desperately wants the Iraqi people to toss the United States out of their country, as the Iranians did in 1978-79. He seems to think that if his life cannot convince them to do so, his death might.

... Aaaaand, cut!