August 14, 2020

"It’s a geopolitical earthquake."

"Just go down the scorecard, and you see how this deal affects every major party in the region — with those in the pro-American, pro-moderate Islam, pro-ending-the-conflict-with-Israel-once-and-for-all camp benefiting the most and those in the radical pro-Iran, anti-American, pro-Islamist permanent-struggle-with-Israel camp all becoming more isolated and left behind.... It was Trump’s peace plan drawn up by Jared Kushner, and their willingness to stick with it, that actually created the raw material for this breakthrough.... This deal will certainly encourage the other gulf sheikhdoms — Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia — all of which have had covert and overt business and intelligence dealings with Israel, to follow the Emirates’ lead. They will not want to let the U.A.E. have a leg up in being able to marry its financial capital with Israel’s cybertechnology, agriculture technology and health care technology, with the potential to make both countries stronger and more prosperous. Three other big winners here are: 1) King Abdullah of Jordan. He feared that Israeli annexation would energize efforts to turn Jordan into the Palestinian state. That threat is for the moment defused. 2) The American Jewish community. If Israel had annexed part of the West Bank, it would have divided every synagogue and Jewish community in America, between hard-line annexationists and liberal anti-annexationists. This was a looming disaster. Gone for now. And 3) Joe Biden. Biden, if he succeeds Trump, will not have to worry about the thorny issue of annexation, and he should have a much stronger pro-American alliance in the region to work with. The big geopolitical losers are Iran and all of its proxies: Hezbollah, the Iraqi militias, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Houthis in Yemen and Turkey...."

From "A Geopolitical Earthquake Just Hit the Mideast/The Israel-United Arab Emirates deal will be felt throughout the region" by Thomas Friedman (NYT).

62 comments:

Original Mike said...

This is what real leadership looks like.

Gordy said...

3) Joe Biden. Biden, if he succeeds Trump, will not have to worry about the thorny issue of annexation

Joe Biden responds: "Duh, wha?"

Mr Wibble said...

Somehow Donald Trump doesn't benefit from Donald Trump's plan, which is a "geopolitical earthquake." Tap dance harder, Tommy boy.

Dave Begley said...

Did that prick Friedman give Trump any credit for this historic deal? What a fucking asshole.

Michael K said...

Joe Biden would have no idea of what happened and the Palestinians in his circle would do all they could to reverse it. Tlaib is already shouting her opposition.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

impeach!

Greg The Class Traitor said...

This is roughly equal to Krugman endorsing a Trump trade deal

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Three other big winners here are: ... 3) Joe Biden. Biden, if he succeeds Trump, will not have to worry about the thorny issue of annexation, and he should have a much stronger pro-American alliance in the region to work with. The big geopolitical losers are Iran and all of its proxies:

Garbage

The Obama policy was to build up Iran, you know, the country that is harmed most by this deal. As the Biden Admin will be filled with Obama retreads, they will all be screwed by this deal, because it will make it harder to support the countries they truly love

Tina Trent said...

Hmmm.. it is, as they say, good for the Jews. And the rest or us.

Birkel said...

So good even the NYT hasn't thought of the right lies, yet.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Biden, if he succeeds Trump, will not have to worry about the thorny issue of annexation, and he should have a much stronger pro-American alliance in the region to work with.

Right up to the time Biden* decides to undo all Trump's works in the region a gives Iran American support to continue creating chaos in the region.

Then the winners will be:
Iran and all of its proxies: Hezbollah, the Iraqi militias, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Houthis in Yemen and Turkey...."

Drago said...

I weep for ARM and LLR-lefty Chuck......and their hezbollah allies.

China is also in the dog house with Australia, South Korea and Japan ramping up military spending and offensive capabilities in an ever tightening military grip around ChiCom expansionism in the Pacific. Thanks Trump! (Gee, that just might impact Hunter's and Joe's sweet sweet $1.5 Billion dollar corruption deal with the ChiComs)

All on top of Trump cutting deals to move troops from the ungrateful Putin-puppet "deutschers" and to the Baltics and Poland....literally the russians worst nightmare. The American tripwire moved right up to their borders.

And what are they gonna do about it besides work with democrats, as they've done continuously since 1917, to overthrow the American Republic?

Achilles said...

Number 3 is a complete joke. It should read:

3) Donald Trump.

Because he made Middle East Peace happen. He made the previous 4 administrations look like idiots getting this done in just 4 years where they failed for decades. I am sure his Noble Peace Prize is in the mail.

mikee said...

I, for one, look forward to hearing a politician say, "Who?" when asked about Palestinians. Losing multiple wars of aggression and then insisting you deserve land for your losses isn't a winning plan.

Gk1 said...

If figures that walrus looking piece of crap Friedman would come up with 10 reasons why peace in the middle east is a bad idea. Who do they think they are fooling?

Pettifogger said...

Re Biden being among the winners

I wonder whether those calling the shots in his administration will recognize that or resume cozying up to Iran because it's the reverse of what Orange Man did.

dustbunny said...

Mental gymnastics at the NYT.

clint said...

Trump's plan "basically generated an asset out of nothing, which Israel could then trade for peace with the U.A.E."

The big winner: Joe Biden.

Um.

readering said...

I had been planning to visit UAE this month, until COVID put a stop to international air travel from the US. It's an unusual country (or set of countries . . . United more in the way the USA was pre-Civil War). The population totals about 9 and half million, but fewer than one and half million are citizens. A small number to trigger a geopolitical earthquake. Egypt grows more than that every year. (About half the overall UAE population is from South Asia, and half a percent from USA.) But UAE will have outsize influence if the rest of the Arab Gulf countries follow suit.

readering said...

Read the article, not just AA's quote, before commenting. TF gives Trump full credit up front, and then Kushner (although he throws shade on the US ambassador to Israel).

Gunner said...

Even this lame piece will be judged as too Pro-Trump by the insane NYT commenters.

doctrev said...

It's pretty clear that Donald Trump, of all goddamn people, is a diplomatic mastermind unheard of in the 21st century. Between the anti-Iran alliance taking shape, and the anti-China alliance that features INDIA, former leader of the "unaligned" nations? He should win a Nobel Prize for that alone.

And of course, the people calling Kushner a treacherous and incompetent Hebrew advisor can just shove that RIGHT UP THEIR ASSES. Even Tom goddamned Friedman can see how important this is, but he's dishonest slime by nature so refuses to address how this is a massive victory for Trump and his allies.

n.n said...

Even this lame piece will be judged as too Pro-Trump by the insane NYT commenters.

The staff will protest, the editors will apologize, withdraw the article, and cancel the offensive journalist.

Original Mike said...

"Even this lame piece will be judged as too Pro-Trump by the insane NYT commenters."

I looked at the first few "NYT Picks". They were banal Trump slurs. These were the best comments in the opinion of the vaunted thinkers at the paper of record?

Jon Ericson said...

Well, Friedman's not under oath, so bullshit away.
Just ask CNN or MSDNC about integrity.
The NYT is above all that. *sniff*
There are trillions at stake.
Guys like this count on being richly rewarded.
a $100 million book deal might be in the cards, or have they over-used that one?

RMc said...

This deal will certainly encourage the other gulf sheikhdoms — Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia — all of which have had covert and overt business and intelligence dealings with Israel, to follow the Emirates’ lead.

Wow! Is the "United Hebrab Republic" from the movie "Americathon" far behind...?

Drago said...

doctrev: "And of course, the people calling Kushner a treacherous and incompetent Hebrew advisor can just shove that RIGHT UP THEIR ASSES. Even Tom goddamned Friedman can see how important this is,..."

Paging Beijing Boy ARM.....

Drago said...

mikee: "I, for one, look forward to hearing a politician say, "Who?" when asked about Palestinians."

Followed by, "Oh, you mean the Arabs, right?"

Narayanan said...

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century - book by Thomas L. Friedman that analyzes globalization, primarily in the early 21st century.
----===
what happens when flat earth quakes?

Ryan said...

I read this, and don't understand the logic about how Biden benefits. It's like saying Trump just fixed a big problem, so if Biden wins he doesn't need to worry about it. How is that not benefiting Trump first and foremost?

wbfjrr2 said...

Friedman is as always a shallow thinking intellectual fraud. Giving slow joe any positives on this after he, Kerry and Obama did what they did in the region (Iran deal, Libya disaster, Syria disaster, Egypt disaster....) is like moron Krugman saying teh stock market would never recover.

No thanks, readering, I wont read the full article. Its in the NYT, after all.

John henry said...

One of the really amazing things that only a few people have pointed out is how secret this was. This is not something they started working on last Monday. The specific negotiation must have been ongoing for a year or more.

And it was a total surprise to everyone. Not one whisper of it leaked in all this time.

Compare this to all the stories that supposedly "leak" from the White House. The gorilla channel, the staff in complete disarray, nobody can get anything done.

PDJT has been playing the press like a virtuoso. He "leaks" so many juicy stories and gossip to the press that they don't even think about looking for real news.

Like this.

He also negotiated a deal between the kurds Syria and Turkey that was announced Tuesday or Wed.

Remember when there was going to be a huge Kurdish genocide last year because of PDJT's bumbling non-diplomacy? While everyone was focused on that, he got Syria and Turkey to leave the Kurds alone and the Kurds to leave Turkey and Syria alone.

AND, the cherry on top is that the Kurds now get all the oil under their new homeland to finance this.

And NOTHING leaked while negotiations were going on. No rumors, no "sources say". Nothing at all.

Assad is grumbling, but that is just political show. Like Kamala at the debates.

John Henry

gilbar said...

Imagine there's no one paying palestinians to blow themselves up
It's easy if you try
No hell on the streets below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today.

Imagine there's no countries paying palestinians to blow themselves up
It isn't hard to do
Nothing paid to kill or die for
And no al-Qaeda too
Imagine all the people living life in peace


without money, how long does it the palestinians to grow up?

boatbuilder said...

Wait. FRIEDMAN says good things about it?

I may have to re-think.

John henry said...

PDJT did not start working on this this year. Or even this presidency.

I was reading a profile of him from the mid-80s the other day. Typical stuff. Young developer shaking up real estate yadda, yadda, yadda. And in the article, almost as a throwaway line was something about him wanting to bring peace to the middle east.

He's been preparing for this deal for 30 years or more. Building relationships and trust with the people that matter in the region.

And if (Huge if) this works out, he will have ended a war that has been going on for 6,000 years.

Think he'll get a Nobel for this?

Me neither.

John Henry

John henry said...

This deal may (big may) finally guarantee peace and security for Israel.

I wonder how this will effect the Jewish vote in November?

Will they still vote for the folks that have been bumbling around for 50 years accomplishing zip?

Or the guy that actually "got 'er done"?

Arms dealers hardest hit.

John Henry

Crazy Jane said...

Give the president credit. His foreign policy instincts are better than those of the last two generations of Foggy Bottom eggheads.

We are reducing the numbers of American military members who are sitting ducks in dodgy or dishonest countries. We are forcing the Middle East to acknowledge and reckon with the end of its crude oil extortion. We are holding the Chinese government to account for its failure to uphold WTO rules, as it promised years ago. We are asserting the rights of Uighur Muslims and of Hong Kongers -- although not as much as we should, of Africans, including in Libya, which we liberated during the last administration from Khaddafi and which has become a gang-controlled series of open-air Black slave bazaars.

For those of us who sneered at Trump's buffoonery, what are we to make of the opposition party's candidate, who escorted his loser son on Air Force Two to Beijing to accept a billion-dollar bribe and favorable trade terms for an as-yet unformed "investment fund" -- this when the candidate was the former administration's vice president and "point man" on China?

I cannot believe I am writing this, but these are facts.

narciso said...

I told you hes been wrong since 1982, because he thinks he knows more arabic amd hes lazy. His reportimg on shatila, misrepresented a grave act and shaped thr coverage of the entire episode.

Sebastian said...

"If Israel had annexed part of the West Bank, it would have divided every synagogue and Jewish community in America"

So, is Israel good for the Jews? For that matter, are the Jews good for the Jews?

MAJMike said...

Quid Pro Joe gets excited over covering your face with a piece of useless cloth. Trump demonstrates the art of the deal in the most murderous region on Earth.

Consider the difference.

MAJMike said...

Quid Pro Joe gets excited over covering your face with a piece of useless cloth. Trump demonstrates the art of the deal in the most murderous region on Earth.

Consider the difference.

Original Mike said...

I guess the usual leftie commenters (readering excepted) are not for Middle East peace.

Original Mike said...

"And it was a total surprise to everyone. Not one whisper of it leaked in all this time."

Was it not leaked or was the lefty media uninterested in reporting the leaks?

Martin said...

Friedman may be right that if Biden wins this will give him a much better starting place in that part of the world. But he and his mainstream Democratic advisors will need one year at most to throw it all away. They didn't screw things up for decades just on a whim, they have deeply held beliefs--wrong, but deeply held. Mere facts will not change their minds.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Original Mike said...
"And it was a total surprise to everyone. Not one whisper of it leaked in all this time."
Was it not leaked or was the lefty media uninterested in reporting the leaks?

If it had leaked, they'd have been trying to sabotage it. you know, nasty stories about Trump selling out America, etc.

Apparently no one leaked. Which in a way is even more impressive than the deal

Skeptical Voter said...

Biden has already said that this deal was the result of the good work of the Obama administration. Biden is a shameless liar--or maybe just senile and forgetful. Or embrace the healing power of "all of the above".

Joe Smith said...

It's not only a geopolitical earthquake, it's also a 'big fucking deal.'

MadTownGuy said...

"And 3) Joe Biden. Biden, if he succeeds Trump, will not have to worry about the thorny issue of annexation, and he should have a much stronger pro-American alliance in the region to work with."

Plus what Martin said...
"Friedman may be right that if Biden wins this will give him a much better starting place in that part of the world. But he and his mainstream Democratic advisors will need one year at most to throw it all away. They didn't screw things up for decades just on a whim, they have deeply held beliefs--wrong, but deeply held. Mere facts will not change their minds."

Biden, Harris and their handlers will have to work extra hard to undo the good that has been done.

Narayanan said...

Ryan said...
I read this, and don't understand the logic about how Biden benefits. It's like saying Trump just fixed a big problem, so if Biden wins he doesn't need to worry about it. How is that not benefiting Trump first and foremost?
-----------=============
because Americans are foolish and can be persuaded and will throw it away.

Gojuplyr831@gmail.com said...

This was such a huge win that Biden immediately tried to claim credit for having been involved with the negotiations when he was VP.

I expect the media will be calling for a Nobel Peace Prize - for Slow Joe

Big Mike said...

@Tina Trent, it’s good for Israelis, For American Jews not so much. I had a Reformed Jew insist to my face that Trump is anti-Semitic. My pointing out that Trump has more Jewish grandchildren than she does, and that the grandkids are Orthodox, not phony-baloney pork-eating Reformed, ended a friendship of many decades. Ah, well. One gets old and one’s tolerance for foolishness goes way down.

Big Mike said...

My take. This makes the Democrats who impeached Trump over his alleged violation of the consensus of foreign policy experts look especially idiotic. Trump and Kushner have vision. Nitwits like the Vindman brothers, not so much.

Stephen St. Onge said...

"Ryan said...

"I read this, and don't understand the logic about how Biden benefits. It's like saying Trump just fixed a big problem, so if Biden wins he doesn't need to worry about it. How is that not benefiting Trump first and foremost?"

Just ask yourself what a Democratic Party activist and paid flack would say about this. Now ask yourself, 'Is there any reason I shouldn't regard Thomas Friedman as a Democratic Party activist and flack, but one paid for by the NYTimes rather than the DNC?'

Soon, you will understand all.

Sam L. said...

Blessed are the peacemakers.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

At the top. That’s why Original Mike is worth reading. Funny thing I think people heard Kamala’s words but associated the meaning with what happened in the ME this week. What a great change to have broken the Arab boycott and hear multiple Arab leaders say out loud that the Jewish people and Israel have “shared the land and history”of the region “forever” and this is a signal to the Palestinians to accept the land their on make peace and negotiate like grown ups.

Phil 314 said...

"@Tina Trent, it’s good for Israelis, For American Jews not so much. I had a Reformed Jew insist to my face that Trump is anti-Semitic. My pointing out that Trump has more Jewish grandchildren than she does, and that the grandkids are Orthodox, not phony-baloney pork-eating Reformed, ended a friendship of many decades. Ah, well. One gets old and one’s tolerance for foolishness goes way down."

Did you say the "phony-baloney pork-eating Reformed" part to her face?

Unknown said...

oh man that headline

"earthquake"

it just happened out of nowhere

it's not like anybody should receive credit or anything

in fact it's bad, really bad, earthquakes are always bad

what about stability? earthquakes are horrible for stability

anyway, an earthquake hit in the middle east

and that's definitely not good

and nobody should get credit for it

so no need to read the editorial

n.n said...

Biden has already said that this deal was the result of the good work of the Obama administration

Iraq War 2.0... The Greater Middle East War is Obama's legacy, which, charitably, can be recognized for forcing people's hands. Trump benefited from that progress and a dysfunctional convergence that engendered reconciliation. Slightly twisted, perhaps unorthodox, a novel class of apologetics, but plausible, and good for the narrative. It's like 1619 all over again.

Readering said...

Posts on geopolitical earthquakes don't generate so many comments.

Big Mike said...

@Phil, ah, yeah. Was that wrong of me? Perhaps a little over the top?

Do you know any Reformed Jews who keep kosher? I don ‘t. Conservatives, yes. Reformed, no.

daskol said...

The Reformed Movement's inaugural reception pointedly had shrimp and pork on the menu. They don’t do kashrut, it’s doctrinal. It’s the Conservative jews who pretend to believe in kashrut but rarely observe it. When it comes to jews, kashrut observance will most often accompany Trump support.

Daniel Jackson said...

Tom Friedman has not been on the money regarding Israel for years. The fact is that Israel and Israelis do not worry WHAT reform congregations think. As for splitting every congregation in the US if (or when) annexation takes place: complete crock. Opposition to Israeli politics took place decades ago along denominational lines.

The Left oriented denominations (Reform) have opposed Israeli politics and are unlikely to change as the Arab world begins to recognize Israel. They will continue to call Israel an apartheid state oppressing the valiant freedom fighting Palestinians; just like they support those freedom fighting BLM and Antifa SJW's in the trenches against the Amerikan Apartheid nation.

Friedman's views of denominationalism is worse than his assessment that Biden is the big winner of normalization in the middle east. His columns are best read when they are ignored.