Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tom Friedman's Respect

(Sycophant: One who approaches Greatness on his belly
so that he may not be commanded to turn and be kicked.
He is sometimes an editor.)

"Lawmakers from both sides of the American political divide are giving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a rapturous congressional reception, with frequent and sustained standing ovations. "

"Speeches by foreign leaders to both chambers of Congress are not always well attended, but most senators and House members appeared to make time for Netanyahu’s high-profile address. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) had invited him to speak to the joint meeting."

Fareed Zakaria interviews Tom Friedman and asks him about Netanyahu's 29 standing ovations in Congress this week. Israel with Congress, says the Friedman, is like Palestinians at the UN. You will always find a bunch of knuckleheads to applaud them ... "

When the transcript of CNN's GPS is available, I will bring the exact quote.

Update: Here is the exact quote:

"ZAKARIA: But he gets 29, 28 standing ovations in Congress.

FRIEDMAN: Well, you know, there's a parallel between what the Palestinians could get at the U.N. and what the Israelis can get in Congress. They can both stand up and read the phone book and be assured that a bunch of knuckleheads in the audience will stand and give them a -- a standing ovation. "

I'd like to remind you of Fareed Zakaria's view -- expressed in his latest book, whose thesis is explained in shorter form in this article -- that America's decline in the world can be discerned in a number of examples:

"Look around. The world's tallest building is in Taipei, and will soon be in Dubai. Its largest publicly traded company is in Beijing. Its biggest refinery is being constructed in India. Its largest passenger airplane is built in Europe. The largest investment fund on the planet is in Abu Dhabi; the biggest movie industry is Bollywood, not Hollywood... The largest Ferris wheel is in Singapore. The largest casino is in Macao, which overtook Las Vegas in gambling revenues last year. America no longer dominates even its favorite sport, shopping. The Mall of America in Minnesota once boasted that it was the largest shopping mall in the world. Today it wouldn't make the top ten...."

Hard to fathom how the juvenile phallus envy of "mine is bigger than yours" can be cited, and trotted out as proof of an ascendancy or decline of any kind. It does, however, resemble the thinking in certain countries, let's say, in the Middle East. It's not the real thing. It's about appearances, not substance. Zakaria's third world- type of thinking is also reflected in the way he tries to make Israel look big, rich, safe and powerful, almost a super power, with 250 nuclear warheads! (like those alleged nuclear warheads are going to be much use in case of Palestinian terrorist invasions).

As Barry Rubin openly puzzles:

"By the way, since Zakaria and Tom Friedman are both key advisors to Obama on his policy and the State Department speech, and Friedman called for mass Palestinian protests (along Tahrir Square lines) in Jerusalem, does that mean this is what Obama really thinks?"


At 12:46 PM EDT, Blogger EscapeVelocity said...

I thought you might find this interesting.

Stuttgart: University cancels conference on Ottoman persecution of Christians

Greek and Assyrian organizations intended to hold a memorial and conference yesterday at Stuttgart University on the persecution and expulsion of Christians in the Ottoman Empire 1912-1922. The university approved their request for conference rooms more than a month ago, but at the last moment decided to reject the request, due to 'Turkish protests from Berlin', and because the university wanted to remain neutral.


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