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Ned Kelly
13-11-2003, 11:03
Why doesn't he just come out and admit he's William Safire's lovechild?

tofu
13-11-2003, 11:48
As of April 2002, Thomas Friedman has won three (count 'em; he does) Pulitzer Prizes. It may then be reasonable to infer that much of modern mainstream American journalism aspires to the level of insight and wisdom he displays. - God help us all!

Ned Kelly
13-11-2003, 12:23
he certainly deserves some sort of recognition for exaggerated self-importance and distorted world view (it gets tedious reading column after column about people not thinking F-16s against stone throwers is a fair fight being anti-semites), not sure a pulitzer is it though.

tofu
13-11-2003, 12:27
Actually, when ever I am feeling down I watch this Christian station that shows up on one of the Russian channels and it is always good for a cheering up - especially as to how one sided (as in Right), republican and pompous it is. I think Friedman secretly contributes some of the articles they televise.

geneven
13-11-2003, 17:55
I think that Friedman is the best. He deserves his Pulitzers. Furthermore, if the Democrats are to have any chance of retaking Washington from the Bushies, the winner is going to have to think a lot like Friedman or he won't have a chance.

All of you American leftists who disagree with that can demonstrate how right you are by showing how to win elections. So far you've done extensive demos of how to lose them.

Ned Kelly
13-11-2003, 20:57
Well, I'm not American and not particularly leftist and I don't really see much difference between the Friedman and Bush world view. I also think he is an utter fraud.

If you're a triple Pulutzer prize winner and spent so much time in the Middle East you might start telling your readers a few home-truths. You might say that actions like bankrolling Sharon and calling him a man of peace when he has turned Palestine into Chechnya and is building settlements on the rubble calls for some serious action from Washington - and might be part of the reason for the absolute hatred of the U.S. in that part of the world. You might suggest a bit of introspection among your liberal audience on what to do about it before you get hit by terrorism again.

Not a bit, you say the EU's problems with what Israel is doing shows ancient anti-semtism still runs deep there and suggest instead an alliance between the absolutely corrupt bastards running Saudi Arabia (unswerving support for who is also a major reason for hatred of the U.S. in the M/E) and Sharon.

I mean if that sort of commentary is America's liberal establishment at its most insightful, it really might be time for a good look in the mirror. I could respect it if it was some right-wing ratbag, but this guy is, as you imply Geneven, the doyen of the new democrats.

Maybe I'm old-fashioned but I was always taught a journalist's job was to talk straight and be prepared to stand outside and fight the establishment. Friedman is a pair of expensive shoes hanging out of the beltway's arse. It's really unbearable.

Still can't work out why he never replies to my insulting e-mails either ;)

geneven
15-11-2003, 18:55
Maybe you could point out the column in which Friedman called Sharon a man of peace -- I don't remember that.

Oh, I see. Friedman's opinions are the same as Bush's, so any opinion Bush states can be attributed to Friedman. And that is proven, because

a. Friedman's opinions are == to Bush's

b. Anything that Bush says can be attributed to Friedman

therefore,

c. Friedman's opinions are == to Bush's.

Very astute!

Can we go the other way? In other words, since Friedman thinks that Bush messed up the Iraq operation big time, can we therefore conclude that Bush thinks that Bush messed up the Iraq operation big time?

Ned Kelly
16-11-2003, 10:33
Geneven, I notice you have issues with reading comprehension. You should get that checked out.

geneven
16-11-2003, 13:23
Today's Friedman column is of particular interest:

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/16/opinion/16FRIE.html

kniga
16-11-2003, 16:48
Ned Kelly,

Polemics and ad hominem attacks aside, what fault do you find with Friedman's article at: http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/16/opinion/16FRIE.html recommended by your nemesis, geneven?

Ned Kelly
16-11-2003, 22:08
I read the poison dwarf this morning and agree his column was pretty reasonable and suspected I'd have questions about it. I've only got two gripes this time.

First, I can't bear his folksy style. I really fail to see the connection between his baba complaining about little Tom not doing the dishes and whether Sharon not listening to reason will end up destroying the state of Israel. I don't like folksy writers on weighty subjects in general; but let's be frank, Friedman is about as close to the American psyche as Yevgeny Kiselov is the Russian psyche and his folksiness is plainly fraudulent.

Second, and more importantly, I don't like reading about U.S. and Israel support for "moderate" Palestinian leadership being crucial to the success of a peace deal. The apartheid state in South Africa was always waiting for "moderate leadership" but never got it because their behaviour was MORALLY WRONG and no moderate could justify engaging that state in such circumstances. Friedman's suggestion about the need to support moderate leadership among the Palestinian authority is absurd and reflects his (benevelent) imperialist tendencies.

Any Palestinian moderate whose base comprises Israeli and American support is doomed to fail because they will, with some justification, be seen as a stooge (particularly when the Israeli side, with U.S. support, is raising villages to the ground while demanding Palestinian moderation). Of course, if America was prepared to be a genuine honest broker by, say, freezing the $20bn in aid it provides Israel until the latter comes to the negotiating table (and stops sending cruise missiles into villages), that might be different. But I don't see Thomas talking about that .

However, in fairness, it was one of his better pieces.

kniga
16-11-2003, 22:42
Ned Kelly,

A cogent reply and within the rights of one man's opinion pretty close to unassailable. I have to agree the folksy start seems jarringly out of place with a monograph about such a serious issue as the Israeli/Palestinian Gordian Knot.

Do you feel his position about moderates is simply because he is a dupe of the running dog imperialists or does he not see or wish to see that the U.S. goverment is acting in its own best interests (as envisioned by present leadership) that has allowed us to get stuck to this Mideast Tar Baby, as well as now several others?

My position is that ancient tribal feuds all over the world usually only get settled when one side annihilates the other completely and that Man has not yet reached the point where negotiation is a very successful tool for settling disputes. I would be quite happy to see the U.S. withdraw all of its foreign aid to every country and troops wherever deployed and let people solve their own problems since they never appreciate our largesse and revile us for it. We could certainly use the money better to beef up our intelligence efforts to stop terrorism. Let's call it fiscal isolationalism (save for aiding victims of natural disasters) and watch and see how things would shake out.

geneven
17-11-2003, 02:20
Can you really say "raising to the ground", as Ned Kelly did?

In the US, we would write "razing to the ground" I guess like you'd do with a razor?

You could raise something to the sky, but where would you have to be starting if you were raising it to the ground??

I guess that things are so bad in the Middle East that getting them to ground level would be progress...

Somebody who knows Brit-speak, clarify this spelling issue...

Ned Kelly
17-11-2003, 07:42
I almost thought I detected a bit of humour in you Geneven. Yes, even in dear old Australia it is razing, not raising, you missed benevolent though;) The travails of writing while drunk...

kniga
17-11-2003, 10:26
Ned Kelly,

G'day, mate! Hurry up and thrown down a few K.B. Tooths so that you can answer my last post. You don't seem to be inclined to do so sober, but I like your writing when you're drunk!

Ned Kelly
17-11-2003, 10:57
I think he lacks the intellectual courage to call a spade a spade because he might be branded anti-Israeli, pacifist, socialist, anti-semite (though I suppose he's Jewish himself) whatever and lose some access to the top end of town. I think the latter would really distress him because he loves hobnobbing with the establishment, like all phonies. That's why he nibbles around the edges of U.S.- Israeli policy but never confronts the wrongheaded nature of the policy itself.

kniga
17-11-2003, 13:07
Ned Kelly,

Ah, had a couple of Foster's, did you? :-) Well, you seem, in the various strings here, to feel that he has writing talent, but no personal integrity. I wonder how he won the Pulitzers? Do you supposed those folks who make these august decisions to award these coveted and generally highly respected awards are so safely ensconced in their Towers of Academe that they are judging him by literary merit without regard to content?

On a less serious subject, do you know what they call a Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under...

Ned Kelly
17-11-2003, 13:20
Well, you know, I just have a feeling that American journalism/commentary is far more squeamish when it comes to challenging the authorities than Australian/English.

I think my original point is that someone who holds the views Friedman does shouldn't pretend to be a liberal, it reads false.

As to my dear homeland. The only thing that matters to me at the moment is that we didn't get beaten by the Kiwis on Saturday.

And I think you're CIA by the way Kniga ;)

kniga
17-11-2003, 14:01
Ned Kelly,

I think you are right that American journalists are plagued by too much consideration for what is Politically Correct and too often struggle to avoid attacks from every madhatter group from the crazies of NOW to the ACLU. Aussies are the best troops I ever served with mainly because they are certifiably insane on the battlefield and feared about as much as the Ghurkas. So, it is no surprise that Aussie journalist are direct in their reporting and writing.

All right, then you think Friendman is a fraud. Fair dinkum.

Australian rules football is also insane. I thought American NFL football with its 300-lb. monsters was tough, but you lot are growing them that size and playing without pads!

Me, CIA? That's what the KGB (sorry, FSS now -- same lads, different sign on the door) has thought for years...

Ned Kelly
17-11-2003, 14:07
I was talking rugby but your compliments are well received:p

And just to completely divorce this discussion from any anti-American sentiment (in case anyone reads that into it) I find it a fascinating country, though I've never been there, and my closest friends in Moscow are all Americans.

But I still think little Thomas stinks!

kniga
17-11-2003, 14:58
Ned Kelly,

Ah, rugy -- that English gentlemen's sport...

Hope you make it to America. Not having been there is like smoking in the dark.

Actually, I'm hoping that someone else pulls your cord when you've had a few brewskis because I enjoy your pointed, if pungent, commentary. Let's hear it for some more Aussie journalism!