He walks with the Islamists, talks with the Islamists

If I consulted with quadrupeds
Think what fun we’d have asking over crocodiles for tea!
Or maybe lunch with two or three lions, walruses and sea lions
What a lovely place the world would be!

—Bobby Darin, lyrics from Talk to the Animals

You know things are headed downhill fast when Alastair Crooke warrants a profile in the New York Times, for his long-term project of “engaging” Hamas and Hezbollah. The profile flags his importance in these words: “Talking to Islamists is the new order of the day in Washington and London. The Obama administration wants a dialogue with Iran, and the British Foreign Office has decided to reopen diplomatic contacts with Hezbollah, the Shiite militant group.” And so on.

In 2005, I debated Crooke at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington. This seems like a perfect opportunity to point to my remarks: here. The CSIS summary of my remarks and his: here.