Syria is a lot like Iraq. Indeed, Syria is Iraq’s twin.

Syria is Iraq by Thomas Friedman

Where Friedman sort of misses one little detail in his super simplified comparison: um, Iraq’s rentier-based economy? Maybe? Just a little bit important?


So Morsi is going to be under enormous pressure to follow the path of Turkey, not the Taliban. Will he? I have no idea. He should understand, though, that he holds a powerful card — one Israelis would greatly value: real peace with a Muslim Brotherhood-led Egypt, which could mean peace with the Muslim world and a true end to the conflict. Of course, that’s the longest of long shots. Would Morsi ever dangle that under certain terms? Again, I don’t know. I just know this: The Mubarak era is over.

What Does Morsi Mean for Israel? by Thomas Friedman

When Friedman asks questions, fails at answering them, then announces the obvious.

"Thomas Friedman, Private Eye."
[Image via Jillian York]
Check out our Thomas Friedman tag

"Thomas Friedman, Private Eye."

[Image via Jillian York]

Check out our Thomas Friedman tag


A FEW weeks ago, I was in Amman, Jordan, talking with educators, when I met a young American woman with the most remarkable job description. Her name was Shaylyn Romney Garrett. She introduced herself by saying that she and her husband, James, were former Peace Corps volunteers in Jordan who had stayed on to start a nonprofit, Think Unlimited. It helps Jordanian schoolteachers learn how to ‘teach creative thinking and problem solving’ in their classrooms. ‘Now that,’ I said, ‘would be the real Arab Spring.’

First Tahrir Square, Then the Classroom by Thomas Friedman

The new definition of “Arab Spring”: When Americans who formerly served in a problematic institution go to an Arab country and teach local teachers how to teach.


It never fucking ends 3 | Sarah Carr ›


“Thomas Friedman’s theories on the Middle East have never been relevant. He’s been a guest columnist before for Inanities and we’re lucky enough to have another contribution from him today, an expansion on this.”

Why has the Arab awakening produced so few moustaches? It’s partly because important and complicated stuff is still happening in Egypt and Yemen the nuances of which would ruin my tinpot theory so I won’t get into it here. They are technical explanations, but I find they ruin an opinion piece. There are deeper factors at work based largely on my own ignorance and prejudice. Let’s take a look at them at length.

One is the big hole that was made while these societies were sleeping. A big, deep hole formed under the yoke of dictatorship. I once saw it while reporting from my hotel room in Cairo in 1987. As I looked at it, and looked at Arabs scuttling around it going to smoke their shishas and beat their multiple wives, I thought, who will tell these people how much time has been wasted on the reading and writing of my columns? Who will tell these cretins that for the last 30 years I have peddled a theory that oppression and dictatorships are alright as long as people – ALL people – can buy iPads and everyone has a Thomas Friedman moustache?

This is brilliant


It’s where Lawrence of Arabia meets Mark Zuckerberg. by Thomas Friedman for the NYTimes



Every one of these awakening countries needs to make the transition from Saddam to Jefferson without getting stuck in Khomeini.

Thomas Friedman, Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way for the NYTimes

Seriously though, what is up with Tom’s obsession with the term “awakening” in reference to the uprisings in the region? Hey, hi Tom—just hope you realize that opposition movements have always existed in the Middle East and North Africa. Or were you too busy touting capitalism with your lexus and olive tree while disregarding the fact that the neoliberal agenda you support is what destroyed the region, politically, socially, and economically?

And Saddam to Jefferson, huh Tom? Tell me more.


So how about we stop being stupid? How about we stop sending planes and tanks to a country where half the women and a quarter of the men can’t read, and start sending scholarships instead?

Tanks, Jets or Scholarships? by Thomas Friedman for the NYTimes

"How about we stop sending planes and tanks…"


As I kept walking to my hotel, I realized why. When I looked down at the Nile embankment — and this was central Cairo — all I saw was garbage strewn about, a crumbling sidewalk and weeds sprouting everywhere. I thought: If this were Sydney, Singapore or Istanbul, the government would have built a beautiful walkway along the banks of the Nile where Egyptians and visitors could stroll with families in the afternoon. Not here.

NYTimes: Pharaoh Without a Mummy by Thomas Friedman

You know, usual dirty Arabs.

-Submitted by globalwarmist


NYTimes - Pray. Hope. Prepare. by Thomas Friedman ›

When I was in Cairo during the Egyptian uprising, I wanted to change hotels one day to be closer to the action and called the Marriott to see if it had any openings. The young-sounding Egyptian woman who spoke with me from the reservations department offered me a room and then asked: “Do you have a corporate rate?” I said, “I don’t know. I work for The New York Times.” There was a silence on the phone for a few moments, and then she said: “ Can I ask you something?” Sure. “Are we going to be O.K.? I’m worried.”

I made a mental note of that conversation because she sounded like a modern person, the kind of young woman who would have been in Tahrir Square. We’re just now beginning to see what may have been gnawing at her — in Egypt and elsewhere.

Read more

This is your classic NYTimes orientalism à la Friedman. 

Weird title that sets up the Egyptian people as helpless? Check.

An empty dialogue that acts as a filler for what could have otherwise been an informative introduction? Check.

The description of an Arab female as “a modern person?” Check.

The rest is Friedman at his finest.