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Ariel the Unlucky

David Gilmour, 5 April 1990

Warrior: The Autobiography of Ariel Sharon 
by Ariel Sharon and David Chanoff.
Macdonald, 571 pp., £14.95, October 1989, 0 356 17960 5
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The Slopes of Lebanon 
by Amos Oz, translated by Maurie Goldberg-Bartura.
Chatto, 246 pp., £13.95, January 1990, 0 7011 3444 5
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From Beirut to Jerusalem 
by Thomas Friedman.
Collins, 541 pp., £15, March 1990, 0 00 215096 4
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Pity the nation: Lebanon at War 
by Robert Fisk.
Deutsch, 622 pp., £17.95, February 1990, 0 233 98516 6
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... him personally it aroused feelings of alienation, the sense of being an exile in his own land. For Thomas Friedman, a Jewish American journalist, the refugee camp atrocities produced ‘something of a personal crisis’ and tore away ‘every illusion’ he had ‘ever held about the Jewish state’. And for Robert Fisk, who no longer had illusions about ...

Like a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader

John Lloyd: Globalisation, 2 September 1999

The Lexus and the Olive Tree 
by Thomas Friedman.
HarperCollins, 394 pp., £19.99, May 1999, 0 00 257014 9
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Global Transformation 
by David Held and Anthony McGrew.
Polity, 515 pp., £59.50, March 1999, 0 7456 1498 1
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... Thomas Friedman is so much the kind of American that the rest of the world likes to despise that it’s a fair assumption he has, at least in part, adopted the pose consciously. He calls himself a ‘tourist with attitude’ and his attitude is that of the know-it-all, ‘wise up, you dumb cluck’ American journalist who is here to tell you your economy is blown, your politics stink and you haven’t a hope in hell of making it in today’s world ...

The Saudi Lie

Madawi Al-Rasheed, 21 March 2019

... most esteemed foreign reporters and analysts, including David Ignatius of the Washington Post and Thomas Friedman of the New York Times. But then, on 2 October last year, the journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and dismembered with a bone saw, causing outrage in the West. Even then, MBS’s biggest fans continued to ...

Short Cuts

John Lanchester: The demise of Woolworths, 29 January 2009

... head always wishes that someone was making the counter-argument against a thriving car industry. Thomas Friedman recently said in the New York Times that the Detroit bail-out was ‘the equivalent of pouring billions of dollars of taxpayer money into the mail-order-catalogue business on the eve of the birth of eBay’. There’s something in that; when ...

Nobody has to be vile

Slavoj Žižek: The Philanthropic Enemy, 6 April 2006

... Gates and George Soros, the CEOs of Google, IBM, Intel, eBay, as well as court-philosophers like Thomas Friedman. The true conservatives today, they argue, are not only the old right, with its ridiculous belief in authority, order and parochial patriotism, but also the old left, with its war against capitalism: both fight their shadow-theatre battles in ...

Let’s talk class again

Thomas Frank: Demons on the Left!, 21 March 2002

Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes how the Media Distort the News 
by Bernard Goldberg.
Regnery, 234 pp., $27.95, December 2001, 0 89526 190 1
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... and instructed the world in the timeless principles of the free market, as handed down by Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan and the prophets of Silicon Valley? If that’s what you think you will have overlooked the feature of American life that negates it all: TV news is insidiously slanted to the Left. The three broadcast TV networks, Bernard Goldberg tells ...

Diary

Tariq Ali: Al-Jazeera, 22 August 2002

... policy. During its early years, al-Jazeera was warmly welcomed in Washington and Jerusalem. Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist, celebrated the birth of the station with a bucketful of praise: it marked, he said, the dawn of Arab freedom. Ehud Ya’ari was similarly praising two years ago in the Jerusalem Report: ‘Out of a ...

The Terror Trail

Tariq Ali: The real story of Daniel Pearl, 20 May 2004

A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband, Daniel Pearl 
by Mariane Pearl.
Virago, 278 pp., £7.99, March 2004, 1 84408 126 5
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Who Killed Daniel Pearl? 
by Bernard-Henri Lévy.
Duckworth, 454 pp., £20, September 2003, 0 7156 3261 2
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... I remember thinking that the official US response was rather subdued. What if the victim had been Thomas Friedman of the New York Times? Would Pervez Musharraf have been able to describe Friedman at a Washington press conference as ‘too intrusive’, which is what he said about Pearl? It was as if Pearl had connived ...

Bush’s Useful Idiots

Tony Judt: Whatever happened to American liberalism?, 21 September 2006

... bayed most insistently for blood in the prelude to the Iraq War – the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman demanded that France be voted ‘Off the Island’ (i.e. out of the Security Council) for its presumption in opposing America’s drive to war – are today the most confident when asserting their monopoly of insight into world affairs. The ...

We do not deserve these people

Anatol Lieven: America and its Army, 20 October 2005

The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War 
by Andrew Bacevich.
Oxford, 270 pp., £16.99, August 2005, 0 19 517338 4
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... a hedonistic, contemptible and untrustworthy civilian society and political class. In the words of Thomas Friedman, the ostensibly liberal foreign affairs commentator of the ostensibly liberal New York Times, ‘we do not deserve these people. They are so much better than the country … they are fighting for.’ Such sentiments have a sinister pedigree ...

How to get on in the new Iraq

Carol Brightman: James Baker’s drop-the-debt tour, 4 March 2004

... the Bush team wouldn’t rush to give reconstruction contracts to France, Germany and Russia,’ Thomas Friedman grumbled in the New York Times, ‘but why shove that in their faces while we’re asking them to forgive Iraq’s debts?’ Or was the Wolfowitz directive a bargaining chip placed on the table as part of Baker’s negotiating strategy? Are ...

Flailing States

Pankaj Mishra: Anglo-America Loses its Grip, 16 July 2020

... are marked by what Hamilton called ‘the incitement and patronage of government’. Milton Friedman’s argument that ‘the world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests’ became the common sense of our age. Anglo-America amassed unprecedented cultural and ideological power, even as self-inflicted calamities such as Iraq and the ...

‘A Dubai on the Mediterranean’

Sara Roy: Trapped in Gaza, 3 November 2005

... democratic state in the Gaza’ and open the door for democracy in the Middle East. The columnist Thomas Friedman was more explicit, arguing that ‘the issue for Palestinians is no longer about how they resist the Israeli occupation in Gaza, but whether they build a decent mini-state there – a Dubai on the Mediterranean. Because if they do, it will ...

Overtaken by Events

Avi Shlaim, 30 November 1995

Intimate Enemies: Jews and Arabs in a Shared Land 
by Meron Benvenisti.
California, 260 pp., £20, September 1995, 0 520 08567 1
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... opinion pieces in the independent Israeli daily newspaper Ha’aretz. In the Foreword to this book Thomas Friedman, who won two Pulitzer Prizes for his reporting from the Middle East, describes Benvenisti as ‘an oasis of knowledge in the intellectual deserts of the Middle East – deserts where charlatans and ideologues, hucksters and holymen, regularly ...

Hate is the new love

Malcolm Bull: Slavoj Žižek, 25 January 2001

The Fragile Absolute or why is the christian legacy worth fighting for? 
by Slavoj Žižek.
Verso, 182 pp., £16, June 2000, 1 85984 770 6
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... is the lure, the ‘future Utopian otherness’, that draws people from one place to another. As Thomas Friedman puts it in The Lexus and the Olive Tree, ‘the “wretched of the earth” want to go to Disney World – not to the barricades.’ However, there is no reason why migration should be dismissed as a political force on this account. Whereas ...

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