Fisking Friedman

It was not meant to last. After the praised I heaped on Thomas Friedman last week for revealing that the Bush administration was holding back the publication of the third installment of the Arab Human Development Report, he's back to his old hamster ways with this gem of Orientalism:

What I worry about most right now - after a week in the Persian Gulf - is that we have entered a really complex, arabesque phase in Iraq. It requires enormous understanding of the complexities of Iraqi and Arab politics and the ability to produce outcomes not by the traditional, straightforward U.S. approach, but by the more subtle, bazaar-oriented politics in that part of the world.


Because of course, politics in the West is never complicated, it's always straightforward, doesn't involve complex relationships between people and institutions, is never about powerful families, and perish the thought that it may have anything to do with bazaars.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.