The 9/11 hijacker was a member of its Engineers Syndicate. The Times and willful blindness.
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This is a deeply different assessment of the Brotherhood than that offered the other day by the redoubtable Andrew McCarthy over at National Review. What McCarthy is describing here is an omnipresent, considerably well-organized group that has fashioned itself as the representative of Islam — terrifying an entire population into a fearful silence.
William L. Shirer, in his classic The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, describes Hitler’s use of precisely the same organizational technique, saying Hitler “was an organizer as well as a spellbinder,” who had “set to work with furious intent to… make of it [the National Socialist German Workers Party] an organization such as Germany had never seen before. He meant to make it like the Army — a state within a state.” Right down to Nazi divisions for the young (Hitler Youth) and similar Nazi groups for professionals — just like the Muslim Brotherhood’s “Engineers Syndicate” which drew in Mohamed Atta.
Although he doesn’t mention the Robert Conquest phrase, what Mr. McCarthy is describing is but the latest example of “willful blindness.” As mentioned, there have been other examples having no relation to today’s issue with the Muslim Brotherhood. So let’s take another example of willful blindness, written by the Michael Crowleys of the day — this time in 1932.
Adolf Hitler, to pick a not unsubstantial example of this deadly phenomenon, was no big deal. Who said so?
The willfully blind New York Times said so.
After leaving prison in 1924, where his violent political tendencies had already landed him, a supposedly chastened Hitler had presented himself to Dr. Heinrich Held, the head of the Catholic Bavarian People’s Party who had been elected Prime Minister of Bavaria, where the young Hitler had been imprisoned. Still on parole as he sat down across from the unsuspecting Dr. Held, Hitler promised. He promised sincerely. He would be on his best behavior. Really.
Impressed, Dr. Held lifted the ban on both Hitler’s Nazi Party and its newspaper. Said the Prime Minister to his Minister of Justice afterwards about his reasoning in letting Hitler go and lifting the Nazi ban: “The wild beast is checked. We can afford to loosen the chain.”
Memorable phrase, no? “The wild beast is checked.”
What the wild beast was doing was quietly organizing Germany. Thus came the moment eight years later when the New York Times sought to educate readers on the political buzz about the increasingly prominent Hitler and his Nazis. It is a case-study in willful blindness.
Hatred for the Jews? Humbug. In spite of all that scurrilous talk, evidence that Herr Hitler, as the Times referred to him (that would be “Mr. Hitler” to you), had set off some deadly fever of anti-Semitism across Germany “aside from oratorical abuse [was] all but negligible.”
If you were reading the Times on March 10, 1932, the very idea that Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist German Workers Party — the Nazis — posed any kind of a threat to German Jews, much less the rest of the world outside Germany, was laughable. Had there been a talk radio and Fox News in 1932 those maddeningly unsophisticated rubes-on-radio and television would have been accused by the Michael Crowleys of the day of getting it all wrong, just like reporter Crowley insisted some Americans were getting it wrong in 2009 about the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Just as Sean Hannity is today being accused of being “obsessed.”
Assured the Times: “Hitler’s Prospects Regarded as Slight.”
Say again: “Slight.” Just as Crowley insisted the Muslim Brother was “badly weakened” — a thought he apparently picked up from this piece in… gasp! … the Wall Street Journal! — the New York Times in 1932 was telling readers Hitler and his party had only a “slight” chance to go anywhere. Period.
And this barely months before Hitler actually took power, declared a state of emergency, replaced religion with a “National Reich Church,” made book burnings celebrated public events, banned all opposition parties and then made himself the supreme leader. And then…and then…well…we know the rest, no?
Anti-Semitism with the Nazis? Asked the Times: What Anti-Semitism?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online