Thomas L. Friedman

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Thomas L. Friedman writes for the New York Times -- see how his employers describe him. See what the people at CounterPunch think of him.

For an extensive critique of Friedman's writings, see Belen Fernandez's The Imperial Messenger[1].

This editor (JB) thinks that Friedman is a dangerous purveyor of half-truths. His articles contain enough elements of truth that one can easily be misled into believing the untruths that accompany them.

Robert Parry reports (28 March 2015):[2]

Friedman’s Madness

The New York Times’ star neocon columnist Thomas L. Friedman ventured to the edge of madness as he floated the idea of the U.S. arming the head-chopping Islamic State, writing this month: "Now I despise ISIS as much as anyone, but let me just toss out a different question: Should we be arming ISIS?"

I realize the New York Times and Washington Post are protected by the First Amendment and can theoretically publish whatever they want. But the truth is that the newspapers are extremely restrictive in what they print. Their op-ed pages are not just free-for-alls for all sorts of opinions.

For instance, neither newspaper would publish a story that urged the United States to launch a bombing campaign to destroy Israel’s actual nuclear arsenal as a step toward creating a nuclear-free Middle East. That would be considered outside responsible thought and reasonable debate.

However, when it comes to advocating a bombing campaign against Iran’s peaceful nuclear program, the two newspapers are quite happy to publish such advocacy. The Times doesn’t even blush when one of its most celebrated columnists mulls over the idea of sending weapons to the terrorists in ISIS – all presumably because Israel has identified "the Shiite crescent" as its current chief enemy and the Islamic State is on the other side.

Hamid Dabashi reports (3 December 2017): [3]

Not an insult but a clinical diagnosis

Let me be blunt. Thomas Friedman is an ignorant fool – and I do not mean that as an insult. I mean it as a clinical diagnosis of an almost-illiterate man who has been cheated out of a proper undergraduate education, sold as a liberal Zionist to the highest bidder, and thus has managed to ramble and blabber his way up as a top-notch New York Times columnist.

Just like Yosemite Sam, Thomas Friedman always barks much louder than he can bite. Like the cartoon character, Thomas Friedman always walks and yells with two drawn guns, for as an American Zionist, he travels with two nuclear powers (US and Israel) on his belt – and because this "imperial messenger" – as Belen Fernandez has rightly called him – walks with this two drawn guns, any claptrap he blurts out is published without any editorial sense of decency in the New York Times. We go to the "Paper of Record", as the thing calls itself, and without failure, we plunge into the ever-deepening abyss of a paper that has long since lost any sense of decency and self-respect.

Imagine the intellectual bankruptcy, try to fathom the moral depravity, of considering what Mohammad bin Salman and Jared Kushner are doing in Saudi Arabia and beyond an "Arab Spring!" Which one is more ignorant: that you have no blasted clue what the Arab Spring was, or your calling the treacherous atrocities of Mohammad bin Salman the Saudi version of Arab Spring? Countless books, piles of learned essays by Arab and non-Arab scholars and critical thinkers have been produced about the minutest aspects of the Arab revolutions. In art, literature, poetry, and scholarship – in scholarly conferences, academic seminars, and learned volumes young and older scholars have done their best to figure out the significance of the Arab Spring and then in comes this propaganda officer and issues page after page of a nonsensical gibberish the likes of which scarce anyone can fathom even in the "post-truth" age of "alternative facts".

Why would any self-respecting human being consider a palace coup in the Saudi royal family, led by a Zionist Arab prince, the highest achievement of the Arab Spring? What utter contempt could a person harbour for the democratic aspirations of millions of human beings who poured their heart, body, and soul into the streets and squares of their homeland to consider a juvenile delinquent’s power mongering an "Arab Spring from the top"? What high school, what college, what school of journalism did this man drop out of to utter such hogwash and get it published in the New York Times? What editor at the New York Times could get up the following morning and look themself in the eye while their brushing teeth? It is beyond belief. And these people think they own and rule the world!

Brown reformers and latter-day Lawrence of Arabia

Someone has just counted the number of times the New York Times has, over the last 70 years, called members of the Saudi clan "reformers"!

Thomas Friedman is the latest in the long panoply of Lawrences of Arabia dashing in and out of the peninsula in search of their oriental fantasies, of brown reformers facilitating their white imperial rule of the region. This lacklustre Yosemite Sam is neither the best nor the worst. He is just the most pathetically ridiculous. On behalf of his Zionist cousins, he is just elated to see a Saudi prince obsequious to white colonialists, while bombing and starving the Yemeni natives to death.

Which one of Mohammad bin Kushner’s deeds, however, the world is left wondering, are we to read on top of his Arab Spring achievements? Slaughtering Yemenis with US weapons, sacrificing Palestinians to Uncle Netanyahu’s delight, stealing more Palestinian land for the settler-colonialism that his buddy Jared bin Salman is financing, dismantling the fragile peace in Lebanon, or forming a new Saudi-Zionist alliance to cause yet another disastrous war in the region, this time in Iran?

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