The Corner

Caveat Lector

ebka.com, a site that Jonah has mentioned before, predicts sandstorms and snowstorms in Iraq; says the allies didn’t bring enough troops; foresees a fierce fight for Baghdad. Maybe they are right–in my experience, they are right about half the time–but a word on them is in order.

Debka is the name of an Israeli folk dance. The site comes from Israel, and seems to run the leavings of Israeli intelligence. Some of their items are stuff that was new yesterday, and hence, though true, is no longer vital, and so gets passed on to Debka. Some of it is stuff that an intelligence officer said, “Why are you putting this crap on my desk? Give it to Debka!”

There is also a steady tone of marginally anti-American doomsaying. In the big picture, Debka supports the United States, thought 9/11 was terrorism, etc., etc. But in virtually every specific case, it takes the view that Americans are dumb cattle who don’t know what they’re doing. I assume this attitude is compounded from 1) the desire for sensationalist copy 2) Israeli arrogance–more common before the intafadas than now, but still sometimes surfacing: only we understand the region, only we know how to fight, and so forth and so on.

Richard Brookhiser — Historian Richard Brookhiser is a senior editor of National Review and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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