Sunday, October 16, 2005

Thomas Freidman Racist

Did anyone see Thomas Freidman on "Reliable Sources?" His basic thesis of the Iraq War is that the monkey-people we know has Arabs are a “culture in decline,” and therefore should be taught to be more civilized through military conquest. I am only disappointed that he didn’t provide his updated treatise on Arab phrenology.

Is it possible to be a rabid Zionist without being a rabid racist? I happen to agree with the U.N. General Assembly’s Resolution 3379
that declared, “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” Others may disagree, but can at least agree that invading “cultures in decline” is an ineffective manner to jog them into being a “cultures in incline.” By the way, can we honestly argue that we are a NOT a “culture in decline?” Should Europe or Asia invade us to set us on the straight and narrow?

5 Thoughts:

Blogger Doug said...

Hi, Demo:

I didn't see it, but Friedman is not someone I take very seriously as a thinker. He loves to paint in very broad strokes, which appeals to the simplistically minded. I understand his most recent book is quite poor, even when compared to his other more thoughtful books (reportedly).

Anyway, whether Zionism = racism depends on who's defining "Zionism." Sure, many who are Zionist are racist, but I have a hard time categorizing Noam Chomsky as racist simply because he was a Zionist in his youth. (Dig his explanation to Amy Goodman here, beginning at 9:05, as he talks about an essay on fascism he wrote at 10!, through about 44:05, at which point he gets into Vietnam and MIT, on the 128-bit stream [the 256-bit stream is busted]. If you haven't seen this whole hour, you should, btw. It rules.) Anyway, it's quite instructive to see someone who is Jewish, is and was anti-fascist and anti-Stalinist, anarcho-socialist, quite conscious of what the Holocaust was, but somehow able to separate that (actually, I should say, link those beliefs consistently to) from falling into some kind of stupid "The-Holocaust-Makes-Anything-Israel-Does-OK" equation you see in many Jews and non-Jews.

So, Chomsky was for a binationalist socialist state at the time, and was once a Zionist, and is now not considered one.

This term has a history, and that history tracks that of Israel, which, from noble (and socialist) beginnings has deteriorated into the Sharonist state we see today. "Nazism" only ever meant one thing; "Zionism" simply had a more varied political background, and still might, although it might be best to ditch it, in my humble opinion.

Of course, not all of this decline was due to internal events alone -- as I've said before, the unique tragedy of the Palestinian people is that they've been misused, used, and abused not only by the Israelis (increasingly) but also by the old (and new) superpower(s) for their own purposes, by other Arab governments, and by their own Palestinian Authority, among other political organizations that draw power from the Palestinian people's lack of power.

They've been fucked over six ways to Sunday, in technical terms.

However, I think it's possible to want to see the continuance of an Israeli state neighboring a viable Palestinian state and not be ipso facto a racist. My usual references: Geneva Convention, other I/P cross-cultural groups, etc.

Sure, I'd love it if Israel and every other nation in the world gave up on not only ethnic and race differences, but also on national pride. That is, I'd love to see one country filled with Israelis, Palestinians, etc. It doesn't seem possible, so in the realm of the possible, I'd much rather see two states side-by-side, with Jerusalem internationalized and off the table and out of the picture.

However, too many people on all sides have too much of a stake in continuing the bloodshed for much to happen in the short term, especially with a Sharonite GWOT going on with Likudiks in power both here and in Israel. (At least in partial power in the executive here; i.e., the neocons.) Not to mention the nexus of hardline Zionism and political fundamentalist Christianity here at home, which lives off of, and mutually fuels the Islamist fundamentalism that definitely exists, and which is frankly using the Palestinian people to grab power.

Yep, it's a mess.

Don't waste any time on Freidman; life is too short.

Sunday, October 16, 2005 2:23:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Doug,

Sorry, too busy to respond at the moment, thanks for the comments, I'll get back to ya later. . .

However, I agree with you that Friedman is something of a light-weight. I saw a documentary he did on the Arab world (CNN). He had such a condescending attitude towards the Arabs, as if to say, “too bad all these young kids don’t know what’s good for them.” As much as I hate what is going on over there, it’s silly to ignore the fact that these folks (Bush’s term) have legitimate grips and that their violence is indicative of their desperation, not their cultural inferiority.
I have a brief to write, gotta go.

Demo

Sunday, October 16, 2005 4:20:00 PM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Doug,

This from KOS

Oh No, Friedman Did Not Say This. Oh Yes He Did.
by Armando
Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 10:09:41 PM PDT

That's it for Tom Friedman. Never again. Arianna, via C&L, catches the essence of Friedman - complete utter bullshit:

You know, Judy has always been a pioneer and an agent of change, you know. And has been at the forefront of a lot of stories, and people like that in our business engender a lot of attention, a lot of criticism and a lot of jealousy. And that's the only way I can really explain it.

Never again ask me to to respect a single word spoken or written by Tom Friedman. Ever.

Monday, October 17, 2005 1:50:00 AM  
Blogger pawlr said...

Friedman is the David Brooks of I/P.

Monday, October 17, 2005 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Exactly, Paul. Andrew: yes, ignore TF by all means. He's gone a bit dotty, if he was ever not.

Monday, October 17, 2005 3:33:00 PM  

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