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With Such Friends Who Needs Enemies!
Three Jewish Americans who are writers/journalists have made a name for
themselves by writing about Islam, Muslims, and the conflict raging in the
Muslim world today. These are Thomas Friedman, Jessica Stern and
Judith Miller. All three are related either directly to the
New York Times
[Friedman and Miller] or indirectly as in the case of Stern who came via
the National Security Agency. New Trend's series of articles will look at
the basic thinking of the three turn by turn. These profiles will then be
Dr. Kaukab Siddique's
RETURN TO PAKISTAN :An AMERICAN MUSLIM LOOKS AT THE POST
[We are still searching for a reputable publisher who will be able to
publicize the book.]
Mediocre Jewish Journalists Infiltrated Muslim Ranks and Made a Name for
[Friedman, Jessica Stern, Judith Miller]
On October 9, 2003 Thomas Friedman spoke to a large audience at a church
in Washington, DC. The program was aired on
BOOK TV on October 12, 2003. Friedman's self-image is that he counts
numerous Arabs and Muslims among his friends. He claims that he wants the
to have their own state and to live in peace. Above all he considers
himself a proponent of "Democracy" in the Middle East. He believes that
democracy would be a great blessing for the Arab peoples which they have
been denied by their corrupt and dictatorial rulers. With this claim of
support for Arab rights and democracy, Friedman, although a Jew and
working for the most powerful Jewish-owned newspaper in the U.S., the
New York Times, repeatedly visits Islamic communities and institutions in
the Middle East, including Al-Azhar, and finds out what the Muslims are
His columns about the post 9.11 situation have been published in the form
of a book which in turn has received high acclaim from the
"manufacturers of consent" in
He does not mind giving advice to Muslims, almost secular "fatwas," in
which he teaches Muslims to learn from 9.11 that a bunch of fanatics are
trying to take over Islam. The Muslim world must curb these fanatics, he
pontificates, so that progress may take place, otherwise there is a dismal
future for the Muslims.
My specific analysis of Friedman's "thoughts" is based on his October 9,
2003 presentation in Washington where he was at his best. I see him as a
mediocrity, a shallow hack who would be unknown if he were not writing for
the New York times.
FRIEDMAN AND DEMOCRACY
Friedman emphasizes the need for "democracy" in the Middle East and blames
the dictators for the plight of the Arab peoples. Such thinking has a
blind spot to it. It ignores the huge fact that dictators and despots like
King Abdullah of Jordan and Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi
are supported, funded, armed and protected by the United States. Friedman
is blaming the wrong people. He should be opposing the U.S. for imposing
tyranny on the Middle East. The call for "democracy" is misleading when
the basic opponent of democracy in Muslim lands is the U.S. itself.
Friedman thinks like a colonizer and a
in his analysis of
(if it can be called analysis). He thinks the U.S. is working for a
"free and progressive Iraq." [All words within quotes are his.]
The occupation of Iraq for him is creating "a space in the Mid-East for
Democracy." A superpower sends its armadas to crush the independence of a
sovereign state and occupies the helpless little country by brute force.
For Friedman, the search for collaborators and mercenaries [at the rate of
$1 billion a week] and the destruction of resistance is helping to create
a "space" for democracy.
Friedman's illusions (if not delusions) about Iraq are not very different
from those of Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz. He claims: " Iraq is winnable"
because the "vast majority of Iraqis want what we want." Apparently
Friedman visits occupied Iraq quite frequently and the collaborators and
mercenaries he meets have convinced him that they are clones of the U.S.
(which in a sense they are).
The more Friedman visits Iraq, the more he is convinced that the
"aspirations" of the "vast majority" of Iraqis are the same as "ours." He
is unable to deal with the reality of widespread resistance to U.S.
occupation in Iraq. He claims that those fighting the U.S. are merely
fighting to retain the "privileges" they had under Saddam. Such a claim
indicates Friedman's INABILITY to THINK. Reality has bypassed him. Those
who want privileges always make deals with the victors. Those military
commanders who wanted to live in luxury and comfort surrendered to the
U.S. without firing a shot. Those who were opportunists (see the "deck of
cards") negotiated surrenders with the U.S. Opportunists and privileged
people don't fight to the death. Even Himmler went for a deal with the
allies at the end of World War II. People who fight are the ones who have
ideals of freedom, independence, Islamic values, sense of honor. Who would
fight for privileges in the hot Iraqi desert against the post powerful
military machine in the world!
Mesmerized by his illusion of support from the "vast majority" of Iraqis,
he calls for the old "vietnamization of the war" idea: Set up an
"Internal Security force" of Iraqis to fight the resistance. Looks like
Friedman did not learn anything from Vietnam. Paid "Internal Security"
might be good to direct traffic or to fire guns against weak opponents but
they are useless against determined
forces fighting for the victory of Islam.
A big hole occurs in Friedman's "thoughts" because he conveniently forgets
that Iraq was under U.S.-U.N. embargo and sanctions from 1991-2003 which,
according to the U.N.'s own statistics, led to the slow death of more than
a million Iraqis, mostly children. He tries to blame (very conveniently
and predictably) Saddam Hussain for the destruction of Iraq. He blatantly
claims that Saddam "drove Iraq into a ditch." Evidence shows that all the
achievements of Iraq, industrialization, construction, advanced educational
system, came owing to the regime of Saddam. The lights were on in Baghdad
even as the U.S. armada started its "shock and awe" campaign. By contrast,
the U.S., with $1 billion a month at its disposal, took FIVE and A HALF
months to restore the lights to Baghdad.
Finally, Friedman's illusions turn into delusions when he actually claims
that U.S. "troops are organizing democracy" in Iraq from the ground up and
that Baghdad has a "freely elected city council." How colonial and
"white man's burden" type can you get!
FRIEDMAN ON PALESTINE
Friedman has been most successful in his claims as a supporter of
Palestinians. At least some Arabs trust him because he criticizes the
excesses of Israel such as the wall being built by the Sharon government.
However any scrutiny of Friedman's "thoughts" would reveal that his
"support" for Palestine is nothing more than a pretense. Consider these
1. He blames Arafat for Sharon's "excesses." The blame is based on the
oft-repeated Israeli propaganda gambit that Arafat turned down a great
Israeli offer of self-government. Why is that "offer" such a secret?
If it was really going to solve the problem, why not make that offer again
and make it in public. The "offer which Arafat turned down" is indeed a
flimsy excuse for the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people during
which all of the West Bank and Gaza have been turned into a concentration
camp. Sneakily Friedman tries to justify Sharon's crimes by claiming that
the Israelis suffered a "devastating disappointment" because Arafat turned
down their generous offer.
2. He claims, like any virulent Israeli, that Arafat has been teaching
"jihad" in the mosques while he supports peace when he meets Americans.
How absurd is that idea when most people know that Arafat is imprisoned in
his own compound. He can't visit any mosques to make speeches. There is
NO PALESTINIAN who considers Arafat a religious leader who would be
credible as a teacher of Jihad. One look at the Arafat cronies would be
enough for an analyst to see that jihad is not an option for Arafat's
people. Jihad is coming from the Islamic movement [Hamas, Islamic Jihad
and others.] It's laughable to think of Hamas leaders looking for
inspiration to Arafat on the subject of Jihad.
3. Friedman states clearly "I strongly believe in Israel's right to
exist." In that case, how can he be considered a friend of the
Palestinians? A Palestinian would say: You think it's okay for my enemy to
occupy my home but you say that my enemy should let me live in my own
backyard and let me pick up the garbage and stop any of my people from
re-taking my home. Obviously Friedman is an enemy of the Palestinian
people but he claims that he is a friend. [That's the old "trojan horse"
4. Friedman indirectly justifies Sharon's atrocities against the
Palestinians by claiming that the "suicide bombings" have driven the
Israelis "crazy." The well-thought-out plan of Israeli genocide against
the Palestinians is presented by Friedman as a kind of craziness induced
by Palestinian resistance attacks.
5. The Muslim rulers can defeat "extremism" by openly coming out and
recognizing Israel. Friedman's advice: "Why doesn't the
CROWN PRINCE OF SAUDI ARABIA GO TO ISRAEL?" He is looking forward to more
6. Do the Palestinian people have the right to fight back? If so, how
should they fight back? Isn't there a jointly-enforced Israeli-U.S.
embargo on shipment of weapons to the Palestinians? Of course there is,
but such considerations would mess up Friedman's view of the world.
He refers to the "madness of suicide bombings." Would he have considered
it "madness" for Jewish ghetto people in Warsaw to attack Nazi occupiers
in comparable circumstances? That would require thought and Friedman is
yet to exhibit any such ability.
IN ALL OF FRIEDMAN'S "THOUGHT" there is no vestige of understanding
regarding the RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION of the ISLAMIC WORLD. For him it
is unimaginable that the Muslim nations want to shape their future
according to the
and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Friedman has the freedom to peddle his far ranging but puerile "thoughts"
in the columns of the most powerful newspaper in the U.S. He gets awards
for top class journalism. He gets his "thoughts" published in book form.
Large numbers of people turn out to listen to him and acclaim his
2003-10-18 Sat 18:19ct