Thomas Friedman's World

Monday, August 30, 2010

Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist and author of Hot, Flat, and Crowded 2.0 offers insights into Iraq, other issues.


Thomas Friedman

Comments [69]

gaetano catelli from greenpoint, brooklyn

Brian, i'm glad you gave so much time to Ali. he sounds perfectly sensible and rational.

Sep. 01 2010 09:08 PM
ruth from NYC

It's called media elitism, journolist and it's really sad that Brian Lehrer knows so little about Saudi funding of mosques in US (NAIT), the imam's ties to Moslem Brotherhood. The tone is sneering. Mr. Lehrer clearly isn't aware that King Saud secretly visited FDR in 1940 . Oil for Killing Jews.Time Magazine wrote about it. Doesn't that make it true according to the MSM? Last week's Time cover story writer on Islamaphobia did not know there are Shiite Muslims in Saudi Arabia!! Thomas Friedman should know better than to give his famous non-answers. It is tedious, to say the least.

Aug. 30 2010 02:24 PM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

Kim from Q s,
your answer tells me that you don’t much about the subject, the Middle East. So the response.

Aug. 30 2010 12:17 PM
Kim from Q s

Taher, what you've said is delusional

Aug. 30 2010 11:21 AM
Joe Pearce from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Mr. Lehrer's expected non-response from New Yorkers on the Glenn Beck rally due to his belief that no New Yorkers would have attended it is suspect, if not disingenuoous. Thousands of New Yorkers attended it. What he really meant, even if he may not have realized it himself, is that it was unlikely that the kind of New Yorker who listens to WNYC would have attended such a rally. Based on the two calls he took over the air, it is difficult to gauge whether he was right or wrong. I suspect he was right; I hope he was wrong. During a pledge drive about two years back, I was shocked to hear Mr. Lehrer describe the typical WNYC listener as being a "white, upper middle class, liberal, Jewish, Upper West-Sider". Well, Saturday's gathering was predominantly white (based on population statistics, any such gathering would be), there were many Jews there, this being New York surely many attendees were of the upper middle class variety, and some were surely from the Upper West Side. And there were probably lots of small "L" liberals about, too. Mr. Lehrer must attempt to join the real world, at least on an occasional basis, to give his listeners a bit more diversity of opinion.

Aug. 30 2010 11:21 AM
Burt from astoria

Suzanne from the UWS:

teh comparison was to Gleen Beck making emtional spchees, not anytg else!

Aug. 30 2010 11:20 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

Kim from Q s,

OK kim. Now your Educated. Many Fascists of the ’30 were so called educate with lots of degrees. So have you been or lived in the Middle East, outside of Israel?

Aug. 30 2010 11:17 AM
SuzanneNYC from UWS

Burt from astoria
Suzanne: teh whole election was a series of beck stgyle speeches by obama

Not even close -- Obama was nothing like Glenn Beck. And what's with < teh> -- some kind of dyslexic irony (that goes for everyone posting here)?

Aug. 30 2010 11:12 AM
John from nyc

I thought the Imam said way more in the video on atlasshrugged .com than that no one in the media is play the audio or video from that at ALL.

Aug. 30 2010 11:00 AM
Kim from Q s

Taher, I happen to have a degree in International Relations from Columbia. Are you delusional?

Aug. 30 2010 10:58 AM
jane from Hudson Valley

I always find T Friedman's NYT columns and Charlie Rose appearances refreshing, clear and good to read. But today, blaming Pres Obama for his press releases (maybe journalists just have to work a bit harder!) and almost everything else seems new twist! I believe Pres Obama has been doing what he said he would do.He works very hard everyday except for a few criticized golf games, unlike some others in office who cut grass, cut weeds..fool around....

Aug. 30 2010 10:55 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

Kim from Q s,
thank you for revealing your narrow minded ignorance. GET AN EDUCATION. What do you know about the Middle East? Have you been there? Or are you just full of right wing bigotry and racism? Give me brake for Christ sake.

Aug. 30 2010 10:53 AM
Jack from Fort Lee

Hold on, the Imam attends rallies where they sell racist CDS?

Aug. 30 2010 10:51 AM
Bob from New York, NY

Wait you're telling me, that teh Imam used teh "N" word??????????

Aug. 30 2010 10:50 AM

Thomas Friedman makes no sense. Obama has been vocal about everything he's done. Do you want him to constantly campaign? He's supposed to be making decisions with groups of congressman to get things done. That's the structure of our government. We vote for those people to do that.

Aug. 30 2010 10:47 AM
Leah from Brooklyn

Oh good! A rally for people who feel that they've been "screwed over." Those usually end well. I can think of a few in Germany a few years back that had some really stellar outcomes.

Glenn Beck is a big fan of pointing out "scary" passages in the Koran. He himself is a Mormon. Perhaps a look back at Mormon history - say, the prohibitions against racial intermarriage and Joseph Smith's admonition that a white Mormon marrying an African-American would be struck dead on the spot - would be of interest to his listeners?

Aug. 30 2010 10:44 AM
Kate Teale from Brooklyn

I agree with your current caller who takes issue with Tom Freidman as an expert on Islam.. I have found him ignorant and unduly influential for a long time.. particularly his endorsement of the current war in Iraq at its inception. I find him shallow, and dangerous in his influence.

Aug. 30 2010 10:43 AM
Jack Jackson from North Brunswick NJ

Peace with honor and victory in Viet Nam? I musta missed that one...

Aug. 30 2010 10:42 AM
Karl Weber from Irvington NY

Friedman is delusional if he thinks that Obama talking about "nation-building" or the imam raising $10 each from a million US Muslims would defuse the rage from the right. If Obama had put out a narrative about nation-building, the cries of "socialism" and "take back our country" would have been louder than ever. And why would the right wingers who have lied shamelessly about the imam have changed their tune based on his fund-raising methods?

Aug. 30 2010 10:41 AM

what would the media do with itself without Fox and Glenn Beck? ...Oh, maybe talk about the hope and change that was to be and never materialized...Really down now after reading this week's issue of Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi article.

Aug. 30 2010 10:40 AM
Robert from NYC


Aug. 30 2010 10:39 AM
Leah from Brooklyn

This caller has no idea what she's talking about.

Aug. 30 2010 10:39 AM
Robert Moss from Bloomfield NJ

"outright" or formal European colonialism in Africa lasted not centuries, but, with rare and minor exceptions, 60 years---from 1900 to 1960.

Aug. 30 2010 10:37 AM
Amy from Manhattan

What ever happened to Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani? He might be the closest thing to a Mandela figure in Iraq, but I don't hear much about him anymore.

And of course, circumstances are very different in Iraq from what they were in South Africa. Remember, it took decades to overturn apartheid, & it involved an international effort & finally convincing the white government that it was in the wrong. Circumstances in the US when Obama became president are also very different from the conditions in S. Africa when Nelson Mandela became president. That government had reached the point where it could cooperate in holding free elections & then turned power over. Most of the Republicans in the US gov't. had no interest in cooperating w/the new administration.

Aug. 30 2010 10:37 AM
Janet from nyc

Maybe there were 23,000 people there. Maybe.

Aug. 30 2010 10:37 AM
Sally from nyc

I was at the rally, it was much smaller than TV portrayed.

Aug. 30 2010 10:37 AM
jj from nyc

People just like to say the word "glenn beck"

Aug. 30 2010 10:36 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

Thomas Friedman is a huckster peddling louse ridden rags to an American audience. He's stuff never goes over in Middle East.

Aug. 30 2010 10:36 AM
Diana from Bronx

I don't understand Thomas Friedman's concerns: Why should a million Muslims all across the US contribute $10 each to a mosque in lower Manhattan? Would a million Catholics contribute $10 each to a church in central Los Angeles? What exactly is wrong with one religious leader leading a fundraising drive for a new community center and worship site in his own neighborhood? And I don't know that the site in question was chosen specifically because it was 2 blocks away from the World Trade Towers, as Friedman infers. Perhaps it was chosen because it is in a dense city location where many worshipers work and for whom it is quite accessible.

Aug. 30 2010 10:36 AM
Holt from nyc

How do you get a license to make a rally over there by the pool in Washington?

Aug. 30 2010 10:35 AM
kll from nyc

Did Raouf use the "n" word or not?

Aug. 30 2010 10:34 AM
Bill from nyc

All you have to do is read their own documents to know what they're about.

Aug. 30 2010 10:34 AM

The NYTimes reported that the CIA twice provided Hussein with lists of people for him to get rid of.

Remember the video of Hussein calmly reading from a list of names?

Aug. 30 2010 10:33 AM
Harnee from NJ

Until the politically correct become clear and honest on the real goal of Arabs, this is a futile conversation.

Aug. 30 2010 10:33 AM
Leah from Brooklyn

Brian, obviously the word "socialism" as a modern economic scheme is new. The ideas of collectivism, shared property, and common goods - all tenets of socialism - are much older and were practiced by much earlier civilizations. I assume this was what Ali was referring to.

Aug. 30 2010 10:30 AM
Johnny from NJ

And do you have to blow yourself up? And do you have to kill Infidels? Be honest now, Ahab!

Aug. 30 2010 10:29 AM

women are not treated equally. You cannot deny this.

Aug. 30 2010 10:29 AM

That's nice that Thomas Friedman has an opinion about how the downtown mosque, which is really a community center, should be funded. Sure it would be lovely if there were a more effective publicity effort on the part of moderate muslims, but that's not ultimately to the point w/r/t the manufactured controversy concerning cordoba house.

Aug. 30 2010 10:28 AM
Bob from NJ

This Arab on the air sounds angry. Is your book violent, or not?

Aug. 30 2010 10:28 AM
Ahmed from NJ

profWms from Montclair: Because, Limbaugh starts the hot air machines of demonization a full three months before Clinton ever took office or Obama ever took office. That's a little early and a whole lot of methane. Sniff it in, Professor.

Aug. 30 2010 10:27 AM
Rahmd from Wmsb

If he raises the money from Jihad, will you be against him now???

Aug. 30 2010 10:25 AM

What is Mr, Friedman's opinion on Obama's health care reform?

Aug. 30 2010 10:24 AM
LeRoy from Harlem

Was the "N" word usage stealth or recorded on video?

Aug. 30 2010 10:24 AM
John Smith from nyc

Tom: Did Raouf use the "N" word in a speech or not?????????????????

Aug. 30 2010 10:23 AM

What is Mr, Friedman's opinion on Obama's health care reform?

Aug. 30 2010 10:23 AM
profwilliams from Montclair

Not sure why media liberals go on about the Conservatives not giving Obama a chance.

I don't remember liberals giving Bush a chance.

This is payback.

But remember: Obama had great margins in Congress and did not need the conservatives, yet Friedman continues to play this meme of "if only the conservatives gave Obama a chance."

Obama's problems are of his making. Period.

(btw, I voted for Obama.)

Aug. 30 2010 10:23 AM
looly from nyc

I was there and there were 35 people there.

Aug. 30 2010 10:22 AM
jon from nyc

if someone is elected because of good speeches and they stop making speeches, then they'll go for a new guy making speeches

Aug. 30 2010 10:21 AM
Burt from astoria

Suzanne: teh whole election was a series of beck stgyle speeches by obama

Aug. 30 2010 10:20 AM
Kim from Q s

Taher: Delusional? What are you serious? You're psychotic.

Aug. 30 2010 10:19 AM
Binny from bx

How did the rally get so many attendees? How can you verify who was there? Why do you make requests from calls from specific people? How do you believe they were there when they call your show? I

Aug. 30 2010 10:18 AM
SuzanneNYC from UWS

So what -- you want Obama to be Glenn Beck? He was supposed to go around the country and cheerlead -- like a permanent campaign? Bizarre. He came in and had one problem after another to deal with. The first thing that happened when he came to office was Congress falling apart over the stimulus bill. It's been downhill from there.

Aug. 30 2010 10:17 AM
mc from Brooklyn

Obama did not have a narrative because he allows (by his own admission) to allow others to project their own narratives on to him. So now we have buyers' remorse because he does not stand for what we all thought he did.

Aug. 30 2010 10:17 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

Thomas Friedman is delusional . He really has no understanding of Middle Eastern history. No one can impose anything on any society or culture. Any change needs to be organic and come from within a society.
How is that Thomas Friedman gets paid so well for the non- sense that he puts out?

Aug. 30 2010 10:17 AM
RLewis from bowery

sorry.... 6 months.

Aug. 30 2010 10:14 AM
Jan from ny

Why did OBama stop speechifying ala teh election

Aug. 30 2010 10:13 AM
Jay from ny

Race??? You're talking about a culture that is violent

Aug. 30 2010 10:12 AM
RLewis from bowery

Please ask Mr. Friedman if he regrets his string of "in 3 months we'll know..." statements that made him looks so bad.

Aug. 30 2010 10:12 AM
LL Cool B from ny

How can you pretend there will be anything left in Iraq besides insurgency???

Aug. 30 2010 10:11 AM
Bobby G from East Village

Was the War in Iraq worth it? How much did it cost us? What did we gain? Obama should point out how much this war contributed to the national debt.

Aug. 30 2010 10:09 AM
BB from ny

How is 50,000 remaining behind a withdrawal?

Aug. 30 2010 10:08 AM
Fred from ny

Why can't we make a hydrogen car?

Aug. 30 2010 10:07 AM

Sheila, I didn't realize that accusing someone of having a mustache was... accusatory (I have one). I'll keep it in mind?

Aug. 30 2010 10:06 AM
Bib from ny

Why do they mock Gore if you say Global Warming is real?

Aug. 30 2010 10:06 AM

His reason for the justifiability of the Iraq war, after all other false pretenses were dropped, was that we needed to tell all those Iraqis, and arabs everywhere, to "suck on this," in his own words. Shouldn't that just disqualify him as a Serious person who gets invited on the radio to talk about anything?

Aug. 30 2010 10:04 AM
Sheila from ny

Meltdown boy: is it really necessary to comment on someone's physical appearance? A typical tea party method.

Aug. 30 2010 10:04 AM
Robert from NYC

Let me know when Friedman is finished so I can turn my radio on again.

Aug. 30 2010 10:01 AM
jj from ny

what do you make of the right always saying global warming is a hoax?

Aug. 30 2010 10:00 AM

Ah, the mustache of understanding.

It would be interesting to have him answer to / explain "Friedman Units", a common (and deserved) criticism of his prognostication.

Aug. 30 2010 09:29 AM

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