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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Thomas Friedman, "Mother Nature and the Middle Class": More Road Apples from a Would-Be Middle East Expert

Who would ever imagine? Today, we are blessed with more steaming horse apples from would-be Middle East expert Thomas Friedman in his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Mother Nature and the Middle Class" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/22/opinion/sunday/mother-nature-and-the-middle-class.html). Friedman writes:

"IF you fell asleep 30 years ago, woke up last week and quickly scanned the headlines in Iran and Egypt you could be excused for saying, 'I didn’t miss a thing.' The military and the Muslim Brotherhood are still slugging it out along the Nile, and Iranian pragmatists and ideologues are still locked in a duel for control of their Islamic Revolution.

. . . .

And that’s why two of the most interesting leaders to watch today are President Rouhani of Iran and Egypt’s new military strongman, Gen. Abdul Fattah el-Sisi. Both men rose up in the old order, but both men were brought into the top leadership by the will of their emergent middle classes and newly empowered citizens, and neither man will be able to maintain order without reforming the systems that produced them — making them more sustainable and inclusive."

Both men were brought into power "by the will of their emergent middle classes and newly empowered citizens"? Sorry, but Rouhani's candidacy needed to be approved by Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei, and for better or for worse, el-Sisi came to power in Egypt as the result of a military coup.

"Neither man will be able to maintain order without reforming the systems that produced them — making them more sustainable and inclusive"? Rouhani is going to make life "more inclusive" for Iran's Kurds, Sunnis, Baha'is and homosexuals? Yeah, right.

General el-Sisi is going to yield power in Egypt in the near future, but not before empowering Egyptian women and Egypt's significant Coptic Christian minority? I wouldn't bet on it.

Thanks, Tom. My guess is that if I were to fall asleep and wake up in another 30 years, you would still be writing this rot.

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