The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work (Counterblasts)

The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work (Counterblasts)

Language: English

Pages: 240

ISBN: 1844677494

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Imperial Messenger reveals the true value of this media darling, a risible writer whose success tells us much about the failures of contemporary journalism. Belén Fernández dissects the Friedman corpus with wit and journalistic savvy to expose newsroom practices that favor macho rhetoric over serious inquiry, a pacified readership over an empowered one, and reductionist analysis over integrity.

The Imperial Messenger is polemic at its best, relentless in its attack on this apologist for American empire and passionate in its commitment to justice.

About the series: Counterblasts is a new Verso series that aims to revive the tradition of polemical writing inaugurated by Puritan and leveller pamphleteers in the seventeenth century, when in the words of one of them, Gerard Winstanley, the old world was “running up like parchment in the fire.” From 1640 to 1663, a leading bookseller and publisher, George Thomason, recorded that his collection alone contained over twenty thousand pamphlets. Such polemics reappeared both before and during the French, Russian, Chinese and Cuban revolutions of the last century. In a period of conformity where politicians, media barons and their ideological hirelings rarely challenge the basis of existing society, it’s time to revive the tradition. Verso’s Counterblasts will challenge the apologists of Empire and Capital.















Afghanistan, Friedman experiences a “flash of déjà vu” at Bagram Air Base: I felt like I was back at Natalie’s Eastern Middle School. I looked around the room at the Special Forces A-teams that were there and could see America’s strength hiding in plain sight. It wasn’t smart missiles or night-fighting equipment. It was the fact that these Special Forces teams each seemed to be made up of a collection of black, Asian, Hispanic, and white Americans.207 The melting pot that is the U.S.

Israel’s security chiefs warned Mr. Netanyahu that his [settlement building] in Jerusalem could trigger violence was because they understood that the Palestinians, having no other means to stop Israeli bulldozers, would resort to terrorism.”134 As University of Chicago professor Robert Pape points out in an interview, published in The American Conservative three days after Friedman poses the question of why young Sunni males are “so willing to blow up themselves and others in the name of

fades, it’s inevitable that many of them will throw in the towel and ask for the right to vote in Israel.101 Such a scenario must be averted at all costs, because “if American Jews think it’s hard to defend Israel today on college campuses, imagine what it will be like when their kids have to argue against the principle of one man, one vote.”102 That Friedman openly favors ethnocracy over democracy in Israel does not speak highly of his qualifications for chaperoning the installation of the

Orientals such as Iranian anti-government protesters in 2009 (“The Virtual Mosque,” June 17, 2009). 115 The Lexus and the Olive Tree, pp. 374–5. 116 The World Is Flat, p. 59. 117 “1977 vs. 1979,” New York Times, February 14, 2010. 118 See Jason Burke, “Frankenstein the CIA Created,” Guardian, January 17, 1999, in which appears the following quote from an American official regarding the mujahedeen: “The point is that we created a whole cadre of trained and motivated people who turned against

2000. 96 “Lessons From Sri Lanka,” New York Times, August 7, 2002. 97 “The New Mideast Paradigm,” New York Times, March 6, 2001. 98 “How About Sending NATO Somewhere Important?,” New York Times, September 4, 2001. 99 Longitudes and Attitudes, p. 335. 100 “Three Blind Eyes,” New York Times, January 2, 2001. 101 “One Wall, One Man, One Vote,” New York Times, September 14, 2003. 102 Ibid. 103 Nationality is for Jews only. See Robin Yassin-Kassab, “Too Late for Two States,” Al Jazeera

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