Poor, poor Tom Friedman. Try as he might, we’re still not more like China, as he’s always wished (though give Obama credit for trying). His public shilling for the Saudi Mideast, ahem, “peace” plan somehow fell short of producing the desired result (the annihilation of Israel for the Saudis; we’ll be charitable and allow that Friedman, idiot that he is, hoped for peace).
And now this (NY Times piece if you’re counting):
After the onset of the Arab awakenings, it was reasonable to be, at worst, agnostic and, at best, hopeful about the prospect of these countries making the difficult transition from autocracy to democracy. But recently, looking honestly at the region, one has to conclude that the prospects for stable transitions to democracy anytime soon are dimming. It is too early to give up hope, but it is not too early to start worrying.
Lord knows it is not because of the bravery of the Arab youth, and many ordinary citizens, who set off these awakenings, in search of dignity, justice and freedom. No, it is because the staying power and mendacity of the entrenched old guards and old ideas in these countries is much deeper than most people realize and the frailty or absence of democratic institutions, traditions and examples much greater.
First of all, Egypt got exactly what it wanted: Islamist rule. Certainly, the military still has too big a say, but didn’t I just see a headline that the religious parties wound up taking 80% of the seats?
But this is nothing like what Friedman once envisioned last May:
May I suggest a Tahrir Square alternative? Announce that every Friday from today forward will be “Peace Day,” and have thousands of West Bank Palestinians march nonviolently to Jerusalem, carrying two things–an olive branch in one hand and a sign in Hebrew and Arabic in the other. The sign should say: “Two states for two peoples. We, the Palestinian people, offer the Jewish people a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders–with mutually agreed adjustments–including Jerusalem, where the Arabs will control their neighborhoods and the Jews theirs.”
If Palestinians peacefully march to Jerusalem by the thousands every Friday with a clear peace message, it would become a global news event. Every network in the world would be there. Trust me, it would stimulate a real peace debate within Israel–especially if Palestinians invited youth delegations from around the Arab world to join the marches, carrying the Saudi peace initiative in Hebrew and Arabic. Israeli Jews and Arabs should be invited to march as well. Together, the marchers could draw up their own peace maps and upload them onto YouTube as a way of telling their leaders what Egyptian youth said to President Hosni Mubarak: “We’re not going to let you waste another day of our lives with your tired mantras and maneuvering.”
I told you he was a shill!
He also said this:
“[Arabs] know their own human potential and it was not being in any way developed,” Friedman said. “If I got to write the ‘bill of particulars’ for all these Arab regimes, they would be guilty of the worst crime I can think of: the soft bigotry of low expectations about their own people.”
The revolution in Egypt carried particular significance, given its size and stature in the Arab world. Friedman spoke about his experiences covering the downfall of its former president, Hosni Mubarak, and the challenges still facing the country. He characterized the current transition of moving from “Middle East wholesale” to “Middle East retail.”
Whatever the [bleep] that is supposed to mean.
Friedman is the preeminent bull[bleep] artist in journalism today. That’s saying something, needless to say, as he’s got stiff competition on the Times op-ed page on his off days. But I’d say Krugman is merely a pretender, and who reads Maureen Dowd anymore?
I offer a $5 reward to the first person who can provide proof that this jerk ever once knew what he was talking about. So sure am I of my position, I’m already lighting a victory cigar with a five-dollar bill.