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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Nicholas Kristof, "Joining a Dinner in a Muslim Brotherhood Home": Another Useful Idiot

Walter Duranty was a journalist who served as the Moscow bureau chief of the New York Times from 1922 through 1936 and received a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his stories in 1931 on the Soviet Union. Exalting Stalin, Duranty denied the existence of famine in the Soviet Union, which resulted in the deaths of some 10 million people between 1931 and 1932.

Fast forward to 2009: Columnist Roger Cohen sought to indoctrinate New York Times readers that Iran is "not totalitarian" (see:

Today, Nicholas Kristof wishes to convince us that the US has nothing to fear from Egypt's ascendant Muslim Brotherhood. In his latest New York Times opinion piece "Joining a Dinner in a Muslim Brotherhood Home" (, Kristof describes his chatter over dinner with an educated, 24-year-old hostess, who seeks to allay Western anxiety over the Brotherhood's goals. Kristof concludes:

"Revolutions are often messy, and it took Americans seven years from their victory in the American Revolution at Yorktown to get a ratified Constitution. Indonesia, after its 1998 revolution, felt very much like Egypt does today. It endured upheavals from a fundamentalist Islamic current, yet it pulled through.

So a bit of nervousness is fine, but let’s not overdo the hand-wringing — or lose perspective. What’s historic in Egypt today is not so much the rise of any one party as the apparent slow emergence of democracy in the heart of the Arab world."

Having read Kristof this morning, I am trying to keep my breakfast down.

Notwithstanding the assurances of Kristof's enchanting hostess, consider a June 8, 2011 interview published by the Egyptian daily Al-Shorouq (, in which Dr. Kamal Al-Helbawy, a former Muslim Brotherhood spokesman in the West, stated:

"There will be no contradictions. Our thinking and our affiliation are to the exalted Allah. Our affiliation is to Islam. The global state of Islam is our ideal."

Reflect upon a June 11, 2011 article on the Muslim Brotherhood's Website (, which declared:

"[However,] we must not impose Islamic shari'a, forcing the people to adopt something about which they are ignorant and with which they are unfamiliar... If we do this, [various] ploys will be used to circumvent it, and there will be hypocrisy. [People] will exhibit Islamic [behavior] only outwardly...

. . . .

"There is no other way but gradual action, preparing the [people's] souls and setting an example, so that faith will enter their hearts... Gradual action does not impose Islam at once, but rather step by step, in order to facilitate understanding, studying, acceptance, and submission."

Listen to a February 7, 2011 interview with Kamal Al-Hilbawi, former speaker of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, on Al-Alam TV (, in which he says:

"We think highly of a country whose president is important, courageous, and has a vision, which he presents in the UN, in Geneva, and everywhere. We think highly of a country that has a wise government, a country that confronts Western hegemony, and is scientifically and technologically advanced. Unfortunately, these characteristics can be found only in the Islamic Republic of Iran."

Chew over the January 30, 2011 interview with Muhammad Ghanem on Al-Alam TV (, during which the Muslim Brotherhood representative in London asserted:

"I am absolutely certain that this revolution will not die, and that the next step must be one of civil disobedience. This civil disobedience will generate strife among the Egyptians. This disobedience must include halting passage through the Suez Canal, stopping the supply of petroleum and natural gas to Israel, and preparing for war with Israel."

Dwell upon the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood's political platform (

"On our part, we believe that the burdens of presidency must not be placed on a woman's shoulders – any more than supervising and leading the army – since they contradict her nature and the rest of her social and humanitarian roles."

And contemplate the words from a 2010 sermon delivered by Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Muhammad Badi' (

"Resistance is the only solution against the Zio-American arrogance and tyranny, and all we need is for the Arab and Muslim peoples to stand behind it and support it. The peoples know well who is [carrying out] resistance and who has sold out the [Palestinian] cause and bargained over it. We say to our brothers the mujahideen in Gaza: be patient, persist in [your jihad], and know that Allah is with you..."

. . . .

The U.S. is now experiencing the beginning of its end, and is heading towards its demise."

By now, you've probably got my drift. Kristof, however, doesn't understand that in the Muslim Middle East, prevarication, i.e. taqiyya (see:, is sanctioned from above when seeking to vanquish non-believers.

Yet another useful idiot. It's fast becoming a New York Times tradition . . .


  1. Just curious... I no longer see your comments appearing in the NY Times and unfortunately, too few of it's readers know about your wonderful blog. If they're banning your feedback, would you mind sharing your thoughts on this matter in a future post ?

  2. Anonymous,

    Many thanks. I have tried to post an online comment today.

    Most of my comments, when critical of a New York Times columnist, are censored by The Times. I have taken this matter up with a VERY senior Times editor, who replied:

    "I deeply resent your casual use of the word censored. If we do not post a comment we are not committing censorship. A newspaper chooses every day what to print and what not to print. It is not censorship by any definition I have ever seen. We do not pretend or intend to publish every comment we get on any article we get on every article we publish."


  3. "Yet another useful idiot,"
    I don't know ... Why not another "useful scoundrel?"

  4. Will wonders never cease? See comment no. 9 to Kristof.


  5. It's the old one-to-one syndrome.
    The reporter, writer, political commentator, politician meets with the other person, breaks bread with them and notes that their interlocutor's voice is not raised, that he eats, drinks, breaths and then he (or she) concludes that we are all human beings and all is basically OK. And time and again the journalist/writer falls into the arrogant trap of thinking that physiognomy is reflexive, that if I smile then you smile, if I think thoughts of liberty then so do you. This banal arrogance appears time and again. It is what leads politicians to think "Yes, I can" and then preach sedition on the doorstep, nay in the very heart of the home of one of their closest allies.
    The trouble is that journalists are not brought to book, are never accountable for the drivel they write in their columns. They are never fired for misleading the public. Instead they are celebrated when they volte-face, beat their chests and cry out "Je m'accuse!". They feel heroic supping with the enemy. They feel heroic when months later they call out: I was wrong. I was wrong!
    In neither case do they pause, for a moment, to consider the stupidity, the arrant arrogance of their position. They never pause to reflect if their mere presence at their enemy's table is sufficient to endow them with the perspective necessary to conduct their professional duties. The tragedy is that such pitiable conduct actually is permitted to impact public opinion.