Morning Report: December 9, 2007

Views of the Middle East for a Sunday morning.

IraqPundit on Juan Cole. IraqPundit:
There are many advantages to writing about a country you don't know. For example, you have the benefit of creating the image you want of the Iraq that you've never seen. You can complete it with all the details necessary to support your distorted vision. You don't need facts or other such bothersome matters. Build the image, as Juan Cole can tell you, and the media will come.

From his office in Ann Arbor, the professor shares his fantasy today of the troop surge:

"First, it allowed the Shiite militias to take advantage of the disarming of many Sunni Arabs, and to ethnically cleanse hundreds of thousands of Sunnis from the capital during the past six months. As a result, Baghdad is virtually a Shiite city now, like Isfahan or Shiraz."

Some graduate assistant should help Cole read a map and find an Iraqi example such as Karbala or Najaf. And maybe the same kid can tell Cole that the al-Qaeda groups are not the same as Sunni Arabs of Baghdad. It appears that when the murders are kicked out, Cole imagines the Sunni civilians are gone, too. Guess he thinks that all the Sunnis are murderers. ...

Read the rest at the link.

Tehran students: "Death to the dictator." The Spirit of Man:
Once again, the brave students at the Tehran university showed us that no matter what happens on the world stage, they've not forgotten the cause of freedom and democracy. Today, thousands of "angry students" broke the main gates of the university campus and invited the people to unite with them in their protest against the theocratic regime of Iran. The students chanted: "Death to Dictator", "Referendum is what nation wants", "Free Jailed Students".

The student movement in Iran has not died and has not lost its momentum and it is something that we, outsiders, have to support and spread the word about. Those living inside of Iran want regime change and would like to see a day when Iran is not run by these religious maniacs and to achieve that goal, every one of us must unite and give them a helping hand. To those who would suggest that we should leave these students alone and let them fight their own fight, I say this: Look at all those English language signs and banners that students carry with them all the time. It means that the students inside of Iran want foreign press coverage and want the foreign observers to know what's going on in that country occupied by the mullahs. I'll keep you posted on this!

Go to the post for photos.

Aleppo synagogue. A longtime acquaintance of mine is a Syrian Jew of Halabi (Aleppan) heritage. Or Does It Explode posts a haunting photo of the ruins of the synagogue at Aleppo. Follow ODIE's link to the Jews of Alepo.