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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-08-11 10:02 AM
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'Thomas Friedman: The imperial messenger'
This excerpt is from Belen Fernandez's book The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work, published by Verso Books.

This excerpt begins with late Palestinian-American scholar Edward Said's criticism of the Orientalist tendencies Friedman exhibits in his 1989 bestseller From Beirut to Jerusalem. All quotes appearing in this excerpt are footnoted in the work itself.

Edward Said has challenged Friedman's superimposition of desert scenery onto the contemporary Middle East in his explanation of the Hama massacre of 1982, which Friedman attributes in part to the notion that Syrian President Hafez al-Assad viewed the Sunnis of Hama as "members of an alien tribe - strangers in the desert - who were trying to take his turkey", something we are told happens in Bedouin legends. Said comments:

"So astonishing a jump, from modern, predominantly urban Syria to the prehistoric desert, is of course the purest Orientalism, and is of a piece with the moronic and hopelessly false dictum offered later in the book that the Arab political tradition has produced only two types: the merchant and the messiah."

It should be noted, however, that Said's original conception of Orientalism as Eurocentric prejudice must be amended slightly in Friedman's case to incorporate his generalisations about Europeans themselves, collectively denounced as "Eurowimps" when they do not exhibit sufficient enthusiasm for US military endeavours against Arabo-Islamic peoples. Friedman alternately cajoles particularly intransigent language groups with persuasive slogans like "Ich bin ein New Yorker", advocates removing France from the UN Security Council because, "as they say in kindergarten, does not play well with others", and warns Spain that a withdrawal from Iraq in the aftermath of the Madrid bombings of 2004 is a potential modern-day equivalent of the European appeasement of Adolf Hitler.

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/11/20...
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-08-11 11:00 AM
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1. Heh. KnR
Edited on Tue Nov-08-11 11:00 AM by JackRiddler
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-08-11 02:26 PM
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2. Renewed kick with FFFs: Fun Friedman Facts.

1) In keeping with his function as Chief Times Propagandist, his columns are written for a fifth-grade reading level.

2) He married ridiculously rich, but her family managed to lose 97% of the value of their fortune in the crash. Leaving them as mere hundred-millionaires or so.

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