Everybody knows whom I mean: Nicholas D. Kristof. You know you are in the presence of very wise folk when you read (or hear) syllogisms like "books not bombs" or "ballots not bullets." He did the first of these preachments this morning. This is the kind of deep wisdom dispensed by Mr. Kristof who seems to believe everything anyone in desperate circumstances tells him. A world traveller, he visits places where he can see misery. His columns are washed in blood.
Actually, he was the first to notice Darfur and maybe even the first to move us by it. But he shies away from real solutions, like in Darfur where the only way to stop the killing is the deployment of Western force. Both bombs and bullets.
Today's column is about Sunni refugees from Iraq now in Amman and Damascus. Kristof does admit casually that "some of them may have shot at Americans or brutalized Shiites." But no matter. In Baghdad for decades and for three years after the U.S. intervention, however, Sunnis systematically smothered Shi'a life…and Shi'as. The Sunnis were Saddam Husssein's storm troops, his SS. That is why there is so much hatred in the country.
And now there are these escapees from Shi'a revenge, and this revenge also was brutal. But the Maliki government has been fighting the Sadr movement, with some success.
One family with whom Kristof met in their apartment had hung a "huge poster of Saddam Hussein." Would you have pity on someone who had hung a poster of Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin on his walls?
Of course, Kristof never writes an analysis. He dishes out schwarmerei.
And he now has a fashionable and stupid metaphor for his anointed victims, "the new Palestinians."