Re: “New Voice In Militants’ Campaign,” Los Angeles Times print edition, Dec. 6, 2016

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Today’s excellent reporting by Brian Bennett of the Los Angeles Times about U.S. intelligence inability to deflect Russia informs, yet the subject matter is a complete joke that I can’t help but laugh at just as much as President-elect Donald J. Trump seems to be laughing at the expense of the CIA. As a USSR-born U.S. citizen of Ukrainian descent, I can’t help but feel that Russia’s not the enemy here. Having spent time in D.C. and Maryland, and Va., I like to believe that a native Russian speaker with clout and integrity who happens to be a U.S. citizen and friend to Maya Azucena, who has performed in Moscow many times, can DM @Kremlin_Putin on Instagram  and get a response.

I won’t hold my breath, however. I wanted to bring up something else to the table today, since tomorrow will mark one month to the day the L.A. Times published this rather inflammatory piece of reporting by a Nabih Bulos. As a subscriber, I decided to write a response  and emailed it to on Dec. 7, 2016. My letter was not published. Let’s chalk it up to to high volume of emails a major metro receives, shall we? Still, I am keenly appreciative of the Times’ engagement editor Colleen Shalby at least acknowledging a tweet with a “thanks.” I am a fan of innovative crowd-sourcing survey facing Muslim-Americans.

Dear Times Letters Editor:

As a digital subscriber to the Los Angeles Times, I was troubled to read special correspondent Nabih Bulos’ report in Tuesday’ print edition, titled “New Voice in Militants’ Campaign.”

I believe that Mr. Bulos has a fiery pen, but Times’ editors should know better than to allow extremist-inflaming journalism to proliferate in mainstream print media in 2016. Mr. Bulos gets basic facts wrong. Here’s what I mean: Abu Hassan Muhajerseems to be a leader-in-the-making, not a “spokesman.” Bulos’ selective quotes – in particular the last paragraph – demonstrate as much. There’s a poetic flow in Muhajer that Bulos is essentially helping magnify, inadvertently as it may be.

Now, I’m not Islamic State expert who works in Langley – the agency has contacted me once when I was in Tanzania in June 2007 – but I am a naturalized citizen of the United States. I have faith that Islam is pure religion because I believe in the good of civil life of Muslims.

By the way, I also happen to be a former L.A. Times Fund and Saturdays at the Times participant. I visited Israel in December 2002 as part of Project Interchange for college newspaper editors. There, Spencer Ackerman of the Guardian US, Mariano Castillo of the Associated Press, and 12 others were immersed in the process of learning the delicate situation in the Middle East. It is a struggle to even reach remote sense of diplomatic balance, and the LA Times on Dec. 6 has failed at that mission.

I wish Muhajer would mute his vitriolic speech. Allah akbam. However, I refuse to simply accept inflammatory journalism. As they may say in Dar es Salaam, where my child’s mother was born, we’re trying to find a house of peace, insh’llah.

Vyacheslav Kandyba

North Hollywood, Calif.


Author: MrKandyba

Father, award-winning investigative journalist, content producer, bio writer and aspiring author. Proud alumnus of Cal State Northridge journalism department. Completing graduate certificate in public relations at University of Maryland University College to go with one in int'l trade.

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