The Nitwits are in charge
Exclusive: Pundit Thomas Friedman laments that the new Cold War isn’t funny enough for him, but there really isn’t anything funny about the U.S. plunging into an unnecessary nuclear showdown with Russia over Ukraine while Friedman and his fellow VIPs misreport what’s happening, writes Robert Parry.
By Robert Parry
Sometimes I wonder if today’s crop of U.S. pundits and pols could ever rise to meet some truly urgent need of the American people, let alone the interests of the world. Everything, it seems, is done with a snigger and an attitude – even as we stumble into a wholly unnecessary confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia over which batch of thieves and oligarchs gets to run Ukraine.
Friedman's position as one the world’s leading pundits is “testament to the degenerate state of the mainstream media”, and right to characterize him as a “mouthpiece for empire and capital” and “resident apologist for US military excess and punishing economic policies”.
Belén Fernández, Verso
“The walls had fallen down and the Windows had opened, making the world much flatter than it had ever been--but the age of seamless global communication had not yet dawned.”
Matt Taibbi's comments about Friedman's prose:
“How the fuck do you open a window in a fallen wall? More to the point, why would you open a window in a fallen wall? Or did the walls somehow fall in such a way that they left the windows floating in place to be opened? Four hundred and 73 pages of this, folks. Is there no God?”
Here are a few a few of his observations and beliefs.
- “to be a French educated Arab intellectual is the worst combination possible for understanding globalization. It is like being twice handicapped”
- “the education of Hezbollah….the only long-term source of deterrence was to exact enough pain on the civilians – the families and employers of militants – to restrain Hezbollah in the future”
- Friedman announces in 2003 that the reason for the invasion of Iraq was the need to burst a “terrorism bubble” that had emerged in “that part of the world”:
- His complaint that American occupying forces in Iraq “are baby-sitting a civil war” is a direct echo of Barack Obama’s promise during the 2007 presidential election campaign that “we're not going to babysit a civil war”, as though the bloodbath engulfing the country was attributable to the infantilism of its people and not to the effects of it being violently invaded by a foreign power. Elsewhere, Friedman’s likening of the US occupation of Afghanistan to the adoption of a “special needs baby”
Which brings us to the issue of his views about Ukraine and Russia. As the United States rushes into a new Cold War with Russia, we are seeing the makings of a new McCarthyism, challenging the patriotism of anyone who doesn’t get into line. Friedman and Hilary likening Putin with Hitler is a pathetic cheap shot unworthy of a leader. It might be more rational to associate the very active Nazi's movement in Kiev with Poroshenko and his aid and support from the US's notorious Victoria Nuland, the famous 'regime change advocate' who when working for Dick Cheney promoted the disasters in Iraq and Libya and hand picked the leadership in Kiev. Seems this would be worth Friedman's comments.