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Monday, October 22, 2012

David Brooks, "Poll Addict Confesses": A Poll Predicted the Cairo and Benghazi Attacks

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Poll Addict Confesses" (, David Brooks acknowledges his inability to wean himself away from polls, notwithstanding their notorious inaccuracy:

"Look, I went into a profession — journalism — committed to the mission of describing the present. Imagine how many corrections we’d have to publish if we tried to predict the future. Yet, despite all that, every few hours, I’m on my laptop, tablet or smartphone — sipping Gallup, chugging Rasmussen, gulping Pew, trying to figure out how it will all go down."

Polls? Me? Ordinarily I'm too busy trying to survive - physically, financially, emotionally - to give much of a darn. My only addiction is coffee.

On the other hand, sometimes there is poll data that cannot be ignored. Inasmuch as we're supposed to be consumed with foreign policy tonight, have another look at the results of a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center in December 2010 (

"At least three-quarters of Muslims in Egypt . . . say they would favor making each of the following the law in their countries: stoning people who commit adultery [82%], whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery [77%] and the death penalty for those who leave the Muslim religion [84%]."

According to this report, 95% of Egyptian Muslims also believe it is "good" that Islam plays a large role in politics.

You want to know why the US embassy in Cairo and the US consulate in neighboring Benghazi were attacked on September 11? Here's your answer. It had nothing to do with that silly Internet video.

And by the way, these numbers are not going to change much anytime over the next century.


  1. He's my Kickstarter idea: An Arabic version of the "Be Nice to America - Or we'll bring democracy to your country" bumper sticker. At 5 Egyptian pounds each (about 80 cents US), they should sell like Pita bread throughout the Middle East. I'm working on getting Thomas Friedman himself to endorse the idea and help raise capital!
    But not to worry, it's all good - Roger Cohen says so in his NYT's op-ed "Working With the Muslim Brotherhood".
    Cohen reminds us that Mohammed Atta was bred in Mubarak's Egypt but conveniently forgot to mention that 15 of the 19 terrorists who attacked America on 9/11 were citizens of Saudi Arabia. I predict it's just a matter of time until Cohen and his foreign policy tag team at the NYT recommend that the US finally engage Al-Qaeda and the Taliban through appeasement.
    The scary part is when opinion transforms into policy. What could go wrong?

  2. "Emails: Obama Knew Militants Were Behind Libya Attack"

  3. Der Neue Stuermer is of course silent about emails.