Media Analysis

The value of Thomas Friedman

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So the New York Times was sponsoring a conference in Saudi Arabia when the genocide (yes, I think the word is deserved) in Yemen is going on, but the apparent murder of a Washington Post columnist is an outrage and this is what causes them to pull out. From an editorial on the Jamal Khashoggi case.

More pressure [on Saudi Arabia] should come from Americans and other foreigners planning to attend a major investor conference in Riyadh this month, which the crown prince is scheduled to attend. The New York Times has already pulled out as a media sponsor; other media companies should follow suit.

It is an outrage, but they must subconsciously think like Tom Friedman, who was stupid enough to come right out and say the murder of his friend was worse than the war in Yemen.

If Jamal has been abducted or murdered by agents of the Saudi government, it will be a disaster for M.B.S. and a tragedy for Saudi Arabia and all the Arab Gulf countries. It would be an unfathomable violation of norms of human decency, worse not in numbers but in principle than even the Yemen war.

To Friedman, the war crimes committed by the Saudis are still possible war crimes, not certainties.

And the Saudi-United Arab Emirates war in Yemen has been so badly botched that the Saudis have been accused of possible war crimes, even though Iran and the Houthi rebels had also contributed mightily to Yemen’s destruction.

That is Friedman’s real value — he is so wrapped up in himself he just blurts these things out, showing how people in our elite class actually think, with the veil ripped away.
He really thinks murdering a friend of his is worse than a genocidal war.
A portion of Johnson’s views were published in the New York Times today as a letter to the editor.
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Following my recent analysis of Jeffrey Goldberg’s literary style here a little while ago, I decided to have a look at Friedman’s article “Praying for Jamal Khashoggi” (NYT, 8 October 2018). As I noted on a previous thread, Friedman is really fond of the first-person singular pronoun (“I”). In an article of 1,319 words, in 21 paragraphs, he refers to himself 20 times (21 if you count the word “me” as well). This gives a… Read more »

The reason the war on Yemen can now be called a genocide is because Yemen has to import most of its food and Hodeidah is the main port for that. Closing that port in the current situation will quickly lead to massive deaths, and not necessarily in a very visible manner. This is not just about Saudi Arabia. UAE has its own people fighting in Yemen .(the saudis rent people) Dependency on imported food… Read more »

Freedman gets things right about 50% of the time. For the life of me I do not understand why anyone still listens to him.

I’ve quoted TF’s explanation of why we needed to invade Iraq before, but this seems a good place to repeat it. It illustrates the point you make: “We needed to go over there, basically, and take out a very big stick right in the heart of that world and burst that bubble.… What they [Muslims] needed to see was American boys and girls going house to house from Basra to Baghdad and basically saying “Which… Read more »