Toady: one who flatters in the hope of gaining favors.
What in the world are the favors the likes of a Thomas Friedman (TF) seeks?
First off, he's a complete sell-out of truth, to the aims and goals of corporate-media/private-capital greed, which run diametrically opposite to everyday people and their public-commons best interests; as determined by people themselves. With the likes of a Thomas Friedman as the reporter of record, they surely have no interactive voice.
Mike Whitney (MW) asks: Why did TF write "such a gushing tribute to the Saudi tyrant, Mohammed bin Salman?" Because he has a green light from those who are leading this whole double-dealing episode -- the Israelis, as they themselves have recently made known, by siding with the Saudis against Iran.
Israel has sought, for ages, since the overthrow of the Shah, to bring down the regime there. And, if they can pull it off through a proxy, all the better, as long as the job gets done. Even more to their liking, that Arabs and/or Muslims die rather than Israelis.
Friedman is an unquestioning 'Politically Corrected Word substitution' supporter of a savage and seriously paranoid, vengeful and retributive state. He says and does whatever is asked of him by his handlers. He is an utter sell-out to the powers-that-are in the world, and in this manner, he is handsomely lining his own pockets.
The likes of a TF don't differ all that much from a "Saudi tyrant and reprobate despot, Mohammed bin Salman, who oversaw the beheadings of over 150 people".
Next to Israeli conduct - what Israel has done to the Palestinians - at least since 1948, in the name of the likes of a TF, over the past almost 70 years; the killings and barbarism of this reprobate seem almost tame; to those open-minded enough to see through their own paranoia and let truth speak unmuzzled.
MW says, "Saudi Arabia is the most fanatical, retrograde theocracy in the world today." What is a just comparative scale of measurement here? There isn't one! But let's look at definitions, starting with 'fanatical'. Israel has certainly been singularly dedicated to reducing the Palestinian/Arab/non-Jewish demographic within the extant state of Palestine/Israel today. The unmitigated truth is that this has been their intent all long.
What is a 'retrograde theocracy'? Strictly speaking, Iran is more of a theocracy than is Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia may be a hypocritical, religiously oppressive, nepotistic, plutocratic oligarchy, but it is NOT "a system of government in which priests rule in the name of God or a god." This is merely the diversionary cover, for unilateral family power and money! Where power and money alone are god, Israel does not differ one iota from Saudi Arabia, notwithstanding their regular protestations that they are, in fact, the only democracy in the entire Middle East. One has to be either totally ignorant or living in the repressed mind state of cognitive dissonance, as most Israelis are today.
Democracy (egalitarianism) and theocracy (an unelected - by the demos; the populace as a political unit, especially in a democracy - hierarchical cast of priests) are mutually exclusive terms. Israel cannot both be a democracy and a theocracy where there is no impartiality between the Judaic religious faith and the Islamic religious faith. The one has this unrelenting blind-faith belief that it has the sole right to run roughshod over all aspects of the others' lives. Why? This is the old testament imponderable question.
This does not say, Jews have never been discriminated against. They most definitely have, by Christians, of all people. So too have Muslims. Think back only to the early middle ages in Spain. Ferdinand and Isabella were definitely regressive Catholic theocrats. Happily, they were of a time long past. The unhappiness is that this is quite apparently not the case. We have others in different guise performing the same despicable acts.
And so, it goes! History repeating, while we keep on telling ourselves how progressive we have become as THE thinking species.
Ilan Pappe: The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine