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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Thomas Friedman, "A Wolf, a Sheep, or What?": What the Heck Is Friedman Saying This Time?

Thomas Friedman is the sort of person who attaches importance to almost any random thought that arises in his head. And so, some two weeks ago, in a New York Times op-ed entitled "The Man With Pink Hair" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/18/opinion/friedman-the-man-with-pink-hair.html), Tom described for us how, shuffling down Schifflaube Street on a mission to buy nectarines, he encountered . . . a cashier with neon pink hair. Wonder of wonders!

Today, in a New York Times op-ed entitled "A Wolf, a Sheep, or What?" (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/opinion/sunday/friedman-a-wolf-a-sheep-or-what.html?_r=0), Tom would build upon his successful "Man With Pink Hair" op-ed and toss at us some more horse apples regarding developments in Iran. Asking whether Iran is "content to be a big North Korea or does it aspire to be a Persian China," Friedman writes:

"But Iran is not North Korea. It’s a great civilization, with great human talent. It can’t keep its people isolated indefinitely. In theory, Iran’s regime does not have to keep the world out and its people down for Iran to be powerful. But do Iran’s leaders accept that theory? Some do. The decision to re-enter negotiations is a clear signal that crucial players there do not think the status quo — crushing sanctions — is viable for them anymore."

Does Friedman really want to tell us that Iran is a "great civilization," but Korea, North and South, is not? That Korea, which is home to Samsung, Daewoo, Hyundai and the LG Group, does not have great human talent?

Moreover, since when did Iran decide to "re-enter negotiations"? Hassan Rouhani, who is subordinate to Iran's hardline Supreme Leader, Ali Hosseini Khamenei, refused to shake Obama's hand at the UN, but was finally persuaded to accept a 15-minute call from Obama on his way to the airport.

This was a major breakthough? This is Friedman's basis for claiming that Iran has agreed "to re-enter negotiations"?

In fact, as reported by the Tehran Times (http://www.tehrantimes.com/politics/111233-irans-right-to-enrichment-non-negotiable-rouhani-) this past week:
"'The people should be assured that the right to nuclear technology and the right to enrichment in Iran are not negotiable,' Rouhani told reporters after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday when asked about U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent remarks in which he said the sanctions could be eased if Iran took certain measures, including signing the additional protocol to the NPT and reducing the level of its uranium enrichment.

'We hold negotiations on details, but we never regard our principles as negotiable,' Rouhani stated."

Sounds like a non-starter to me.

But more to the point, Iran thrives on so-called "negotiations," intended to allow them to continue with their nuclear weapons development program unmolested. In a pre-election interview, Rouhani, all smiles, bragged how he had lulled the West into complacency while radically expanding Iran's nuclear weapons development program (see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjbrqPK-BBg). Of course, he would never dare attempt to deceive a weak-kneed but personable Barack Obama . . . not.

Friedman fails to mention that on the basis of his 15-minute phone call with Rouhani, Obama is already asking Congress to delay implementation of additional sanctions against Iran (see: http://www.latimes.com/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-state-congress-iran-sanctions-20131003,0,1909747.story). I can only ask myself if this decision to take the pressure off Iran without any quid pro quo is based upon cowardice, idiocy or naivete.

May God have mercy on us.

2 comments:

  1. Oh, my beloved Thomas.
    Well, I'd like to remind everyone that this is the paper which didn't notice .... the Holocaust. They ignored the Holocaust, even when one of the heroes of all times, Jan Karski, a Polish diplomat, traveled to New York and knocked at all doors: "Wake up, people, horror is happening."
    They also didn't notice the Ukrainian starvation, because one of Thomas's predecessors sent there reported .... the existence of paradise.
    Apparently, these traditions are ueber Alles at this rag regardless of the consequences.

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  2. Missing from everyone's opinion today, especially TomTom is the deliberate leak on how USA can NOT enforce sanctions against Iran and Syria during this 'shutdown':

    "...The State Department has griped about the government shutdown all week, pointing to negative editorials written about the U.S. in foreign press and telling reporters the shutdown has prevented the Treasury and the State Department from being able to fully enforce economic sanctions against Iran and Syria. ..."

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/10/john-kerry-shutdown-is-damaging-u-s-diplomacy-but-well-move-past-it/

    As for Iran2013 as a 'great' civilization?
    Let us count the legacies of Persian Empires that continue to plague so many Kurds, Azeris, Baluchis, Turkmen, Lur, Afghans...and the nuclear threat to seven billion people.

    k

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