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Undressing Thomas Friedman

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It was an irresistible urge. I picked up a page from the NYT, June 11 (p. A23) in Starbucks and, lo and behold, Mr. Flatland himself was there with his new column ‘Obama on the Nile’. Picture him in dockers, polo shirt and sandals in Egypt, giving us a piece of wisdom from that backwards country and won’t you get an urge to undress him? His articles always sound like they are written in some whorehouse under the hangover. Naked he will look only natural.

I hope, Billy Collins, the author of the ‘ Undressing Emily Dickinson’ won’t mind. Thus off we go and let the God of Fair Beginnings help us

  1. Sandals Off

This column will probably get Barack Obama in trouble but that’s not my problem. I cannot tell a lie: Many Egyptians and other Arab Muslims really like him and hope that he wins the presidency.

I do not know what is more in this phrase- illiteracy, hubris, arrogance, stupidity or pure malice. Why would the interest and sympathy of Arab people in Egypt get Obama in trouble? Would it be so bad if we have a President likable by other people in the world? And what is that ‘I can’t tell a lie’. That implies as if someone pushes our poor Tom not to write a column. Coveted liberal Obamicons at work? The proper style would be, ’I have to reveal the fact,’ or something like that. Now, it does seem rather dubious to state that many Egyptians and other Arab Muslims really like Obama because Egypt is a big country and ‘many’ should mean the results of some poll at least, not the gossip Mr. Friedman produces further on. And what 'other Muslims’ does Mr. Friedman refer to? Not a clue. In a sick twist of mind Mr. Flatland here implies smugly that ANY sympathy towards Obama in the Middle East (unless it comes from Israelis) is a liability for Obama. Why? Now barefoot he goes for a kill in the next phrase.

2.Zipper Goes!

While Obama, who was raised a Christian is constantly assuring Americans that he is not a Muslim…

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Oy, vey! Mr. Friedman knows it all. Obama for some reason MUST assure Americans that he is not a Muslim; he MUST prove it! According to Friedman he does it all the time. Easy, Superpunch! How will you or McCaine for that matter prove that you both are not Muslims? I am sure you both are circumcised. As for the Quran, many Muslims are illiterate and so are you, thus you have a lot in common. I also doubt that Christianity thing very much; the US branch is not really Christian, it is rather a sect, a cult of some US Jesus and in sorts, US religion is an enormous blasphemy. But notice the smear! Oh, Tom thinks he is so smart. One little stylish turn- and we become suspicious; Obama surely has to prove to us something. McCaine does not. What a witty guy our Non- Zippetty mister is. Time to go for the dockers.

3.Take Them Off, The Dockers I Mean. Take Them Off Fast!

…. Every once in a while America does something so radical, so out of ordinary – something that old, encrusted, traditional societies like those in the Middle East could simply never imagine…

I sincerely hope Tom includes Israel into the list of ‘encrusted’ societies because it was there where I was told that, ‘If that black bum Obama becomes your President we all will be in big trouble.’ But hey, what is so radical about a young, articulate, brilliant, educated senator running for President. Gamal Abdel Nasser was that kind too. So was Bhutto. So was Indirah Gandhi. Again, Mr. F. implies something really unusual: a black man that is. He then says that nobody in Egypt would imagine a Copt to become a President of Egypt. I am not sure. Fairly recently in Russia a Jew was a Prime Minister. Something unbelievable by Tom’s standards. Now, if we have all people equal as we claim, it is absolutely NORMAL to have a black man to run for the highest office. Neatly, neatly, Tom, we will need to wash those pants of yours. And I am not at all impressed by your hairy legs. They look like the legs of an Arab. Prove me wrong.

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4.Off With That T- Shirt!

My colleague Michael Slackman, the Times Bureau Chief in Cairo told me about a recent encounter he had with a worker at Cairo’s famed Blue Mosque…

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The writer is 57 years old, semi- retired engineer, PhD, PE, CEM. I write fiction on a regular basis and I am also 10 years on OEN.


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