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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Thomas Friedman, "Close to the Edge": "'You Can’t Just Vote Your Vagina"

In her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Bill’s Turn at Bat" (see:, Maureen Dowd mentions that Democratic New York mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio has the backing of Susan Sarandon, who "decided not to support [Christine] Quinn because 'you can’t just vote your vagina.'"

As regards New York, I agree with Susan.

However, in Egypt, where some 90 percent of Egyptian women have had their clitorises removed, I think women should be "voting their vaginas."

Regrettably, however, Egyptians in their first free elections in 2012, which brought the Muslim Brotherhood to power, were busy "voting their religion." A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center in December 2010 ( determined:

"At least three-quarters of Muslims in Egypt . . . say they would favor making each of the following the law in their countries: stoning people who commit adultery, whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery and the death penalty for those who leave the Muslim religion."

According to the Pew poll, 95% of Egyptian Muslims also believe it is "good" that Islam plays a large role in politics.

By now it is fairly clear that the consequences of "voting your religion" can be somewhat less than sanguine.
Who is responsible for the current chaos in Egypt? Yesterday, one of President Obama's five best overseas friends (see: weighed in on the topic and blamed the Jews for toppling Morsi. As noted by The Jerusalem Post (

"Erdogan’s comments come just a few weeks after he blamed the unrest in his own country on an 'interest rate lobby,' widely believed to be a metaphor for Western Jewish businessmen."

Obama sure as heck knows how to pick his overseas friends: Erdogan, Putin, Chavez . . .

Which brings me to Thomas Friedman's latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Close to the Edge" (, in which this self-proclaimed prophet, who has a solution for everything (even baldness), declares:

"Of all the troubling images from Cairo these days, none could be worse than the pictures of the many civilian casualties. But nearly as disturbing was footage from last week showing an Egyptian police vehicle toppling off the 6th of October Bridge, which spans the Nile in central Cairo. News accounts differed over whether the vehicle was pushed over by protesters or, in a panic, the driver burst through the bridge railing and plunged into the river. Either way, the bridge was badly damaged, the car was lost, the fate of its passengers unknown."

Peculiar how Friedman doesn't mention the pictures of the more than 60 churches in Egypt recently torched by the Muslim Brotherhood (see: as equally disturbing.

Friedman, however, is once again ready with advice for Egyptian General Sisi:

"I understand why so many Egyptians turned against the Brotherhood. It was stealing their revolution for its own stale agenda. But the best way to justify ousting the Brotherhood was for the military to put in place a government that really would get Egypt started on the long march to modernization, entrepreneurship, literacy for women and consensual and inclusive politics — inclusive even of Islamists — not another march in place under generals.

. . . .

So, once again, Egyptians and their friends abroad are being polarized between the same two bad options. The hour is late. General Sisi has got to pull back and empower the cabinet he appointed to produce a third way — an authentically modernizing, inclusive government. That is what the 2011 revolution was about. If he diverts Egypt from that goal, the way the Brotherhood did, if his only ambition is to be another Nasser and not a Mandela, Egypt is headed for a steep plunge, just like that police vehicle tumbling into the Nile."

Ah yes, "pull back and empower . . . an authentically modernizing, inclusive government."

I have even better advice: Let's send Tom to Cairo on a multi-year mission away from his Maryland mansion and have him explain to Sissi how to do it in a country with dwindling foreign reserves, soaring unemployment, a devastated tourist industry, chaos caused by Islamic militants in Sinai, a weakening currency, poverty, illiteracy, discrimination against women, murderous oppression of its Christian Coptic minority, and a population that is growing far beyond the country's means.

Go for it, Tom! General Sissi impatiently awaits your arrival! I'll even help sponsor a one-way ticket!

1 comment:

  1. Well, the NYT is clearly an organ. But unlike Pravda, it isn't clear of what. Who actually owns this garbage and dictates the nonsense this rug publishes? Or it prepares for the bright future as the organ with Al Jazeera and forces behind, just like Al Gore fatted himself up to prove that he can become an awe and fear inspiring sheik.
    Well, now back to the country. Thank to Obama and the NYT we now have new and wonderful friends: Erdogan, the Muslim Brotherhood, Putin, the new Ahmadinejad (as good as the old), the new Chavez (as good as the old).
    Is it me or ... there is a problem.
    Some two years ago, I sent a parting letter to my friend which included a statement that I was tired of her Orwellian equation of goodness with antisemitism (Helen Thomas after her famous "performance" was good, Muslim Brotherhood was good, George Galloway was good, etc.) and ended the letter with: "If someone thinks that both Chavez and Ron Paul are good, this someone needs more help than I can offer."
    Obama needs professional help. The nation and the world need help too. Something is profoundly wrong.