Sunday, April 15, 2012

Prize winning journalist fooled, thinks we all were

Joel Brinkley, a Stanford professor of journalism and former Pulitizer-Prize winning correspondent for the New York Times has admitted a serious misjudgment. Writing in the SF Chronicle, his headline spells it out: Islamists in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia not democratic.
    And most people in the West, after jubilantly watching the Arab Spring's amazing revolutions last year, wanted to believe them.
I don't believe Brinkley when he says "wanted to believe them." He and his fellow liberals did believe them. Only they could think people living in the 8th century (except for cellphones, oddly) were going to embrace democracy because ...wait for it... they said so. The radical Islamists weren't going to seize the opportunity to dominate these countries? Anybody with a pulse and a sliver of knowledge about world events knew precisely what was going to happen. Nobody watched "jubilantly" except delusional leftists.

He talks of "jubilantly watching the Arab Spring's amazing revolutions last year." I guess Brinkley doesn't know about YouTube. I'm going to help the guy out: go right here to see what's actually happening in the world, not what CNN wants you to see. I watched a lot of video on CNN, and then I watched the raw footage on YouTube, and just like with the Occupy movement, I saw a massive disconnect between leftist news coverage and what was really happening. Every protest in the Arab Spring was an "Allahu Akbar" fest. It was alarming from the first day, not "amazing." I guess the left ignored all the rapes and unlawful detentions, too. And they missed the military virginity checks. And they failed to note the ethnic cleansing. These things didn't happen later, they happened almost from the very beginning.

The moment that Tunisian kid BBQ'd himself, kicking off the "Arab Spring", everyone except liberals were saying, "There are only two kinds of governments that work in Muslim, Middle East countries, iron-fisted dictators with the brutality to control the Islamists, and the Islamists (see: Iran)." Joel Brinkley doesn't know this? I'm embarrassed for him. This is a gross misunderstanding of Islam and the region.
    Think for a moment about what has actually happened. Youths with modern ideas, resulting in part from what they've learned online, were the engines of the revolts that threw the dictators out of office. But when elections came, most people voted for what they knew.
He's misunderstanding this on more than one level. He still believes the liberal nonsense about the "tiny minority." There's a reason, Brinkley, that there were celebrations in every Muslim country after 9/11. They had parades in the streets! There's a reason Mein Kampf is a best seller in nearly all Muslim countries. There's a reason Pakistan harbored Bin Laden for all those years. There's a reason the mastermind of the Bali bombings was let out of jail early (after a couple of  years!) and then treated to a party -- on the day of his release -- at the home of the Minister of Defense for Indonesia. Brinkley missed all of these things (and that's not a complete list of evidence against "tiny minority"), or he is blind to reality. I don't know which is the case, and I don't know which is worse.
    As Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, Libya's interim leader, took office last fall, he thanked NATO and then let slip that he believed Libya should legalize polygamy, an element of Shariah law. That set off a furor. Nonetheless, a short time later he said his views are "moderate" but then added: "As a Muslim country, we have adopted the Islamic Shariah as the main source of law. Accordingly, any law that contradicts Islamic principles with the Islamic Shariah is ineffective legally."
Brinkley is surprised by this. Amazing. The whole thing is eerily similar to another liberal's wake-up call.

The only positive thing I can say about Brinkley's embarrassing story is that it's a good summary of how the Arab Spring marks a shift not from dictatorship to democracy, but from dictatorship to radical Islamism. Brinkley doesn't come out and say it, but we can infer from his article that he at least understands that dictatorships in the Middle East are far better for us, and the world.

Obama is on the verge of supporting the Syrian rebels, which would be another foreign policy blunder. Assad is no friend to the West, but when the rebels defeat him we will have yet another radical Islamist nation to deal with. Will it take Brinkley 15 months to recognize what's happening this time, or will he blithely endorse Obama's support of Syrian rebels as the liberals endorsed Obama's support of Libyan and Egyptian "democratists", only to end up with an Islamist cesspool when the dust settled? Maybe Rumsfeld's words from the 1980s are beginning to make sense to them, "Saddam Hussein may be a bastard, but he's our bastard."

One comical thing we can conclude from Brinkley's article: we know where he gets all his news -- far-left media organizations like NYT and CNN and PBS/NPR. Fox News has been covering the dangers of the Arab Spring, accurately, from the first day. Old Brinkley lives in a box.

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