a heartbreaking work of staggering somethingorother

More than one person has commented that Bush the Younger has, unlike his father and strangely like Ronald Reagan, the uncanny ability to drive his political opponents insane merely be being there.

Now, to a certain extent, I think that this line of thought is somewhat disingenius: Bush 43 inspires more vitriol than Bush 41 because the Shrub, on the whole, pursues more despicable policies than his father, and the accusation that his critics are motivated by some irrelevant existential dislike of the man is little more than a (surreal) transposition of hip-hop’s pseudo-crime of “playa hatin’” into the realm of allegedly serious political discourse.

But then again…

Juan Cole is the Professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History at the History Department of the University of Michigan. He is, without a doubt, one of the foremost experts on the history and politics of the contemporary Muslim world, in addition to being a prominent translator of Arabic literature, and is part of the very, very short list of sources I tend to turn to when I want to hear an analysis of current events in the middle east from someone who indisputably knows what the fuck he is talking about.

Professor Cole maintains a weblog of regular observations about mideast policy on his personal site, and to put it mildly, he’s less than completely impressed with the Shrub’s recent performance there. Indeed, Dr. Cole is, for entirely understandable reasons, extremely angry with our beloved President. How angry? So angry that it seems that George Bush has driven one of the foremost American academic authorities on the middle east…

…to filking.

Grapple not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, indeed. Let this be a warning to all of you. (Of what, I confess, I have no idea.)

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