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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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... the Israeli novelist Amos Oz, it was the year ‘the Land of Israel’ died in Lebanon, while for him personally it aroused feelings of alienation, the sense of being an exile in his own land. For ThomasFriedman, 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 ...

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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... ThomasFriedman 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 ...

The Saudi Lie

Madawi Al-Rasheed

21 March 2019
... years, the press lavished praise on the young prince; among his celebrants were some of America’s most esteemed foreign reporters and analysts, including David Ignatius of the Washington Post and ThomasFriedman 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 ...

Short Cuts

John Lanchester: The demise of Woolworths

29 January 2009
...  though when the car industry is held up as a barometer of economic well-being, a voice inside my head always wishes that someone was making the counter-argument against a thriving car industry. ThomasFriedman 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 ...

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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... lower taxes were taken to be their own justification, while American CEOs mounted the heights of Davos 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 ...

Nobody has to be vile

Slavoj Žižek: The Philanthropic Enemy

6 April 2006
... instead, Davos can become Porto Davos. So who are these liberal communists? The usual suspects: Bill Gates and George Soros, the CEOs of Google, IBM, Intel, eBay, as well as court-philosophers like ThomasFriedman. 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 ...

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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... discipline and sacrifice, and explicitly or implicitly the superiority of these virtues to those of a hedonistic, contemptible and untrustworthy civilian society and political class. In the words of ThomasFriedman, 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 ...

Bush’s Useful Idiots

Tony Judt: Whatever happened to American liberalism?

21 September 2006
... with Bush for giving ‘preventive war’ a bad name. In a similar vein, those centrist voices that bayed most insistently for blood in the prelude to the Iraq War – the New York Times columnist ThomasFriedman 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 ...


Tariq Ali: Al-Jazeera

22 August 2002
... Emir ignored the protests and his Government denied that the channel was the instrument of Qatari foreign policy. During its early years, al-Jazeera was warmly welcomed in Washington and Jerusalem. ThomasFriedman, 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 ...

‘A Dubai on the Mediterranean’

Sara Roy: Trapped in Gaza

3 November 2005
... April President Bush said that Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza would allow the establishment of ‘a democratic state in the Gaza’ and open the door for democracy in the Middle East. The columnist ThomasFriedman 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 ...
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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... books in Hebrew and English, including the autobiographical Conflicts and Contradictions (1986) and opinion pieces in the independent Israeli daily newspaper Ha’aretz. In the Foreword to this book ThomasFriedman, 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 ...

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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... propaganda, including US propaganda about Kosovo, Bosnia and the Sudan. When his death was announced, I remember thinking that the official US response was rather subdued. What if the victim had been ThomasFriedman 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 ...
6 February 1986
... from Chicago became for the moment one of the most influential private individuals in the world. Fêted by financiers, mobbed by the media, patronised by presidents and prime ministers, Milton Friedman had at last arrived. The doctrine for which he had fought – initially almost single-handedly – for a quarter of a century had become the New Orthodoxy. Monetarism had overthrown discredited ...

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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... from the countryside to the city that characterised the 19th and 20th centuries. Narcissistic illusion is the lure, the ‘future Utopian otherness’, that draws people from one place to another. As ThomasFriedman 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 ...

How to get on in the new Iraq

Carol Brightman: James Baker’s drop-the-debt tour

4 March 2004
... their access to America’s $18.6 billion in reconstruction contracts. ‘It’s understandable that the Bush team wouldn’t rush to give reconstruction contracts to France, Germany and Russia,’ ThomasFriedman 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 ...

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