AMY GOODMAN: Last July you wrote a controversial column calling on the state department to monitor and publicly identify excuse makers and hate mongers.
THOMAS FRIEDMAN: Yes.
AMY GOODMAN: You wrote, "After every major terrorist incident the excuse makers come out to tell us why imperialism, Zionism, colonialism or Iraq explains why the terrorists acted. These excuse makers are just one notch less despicable than the terrorists and also deserve to be exposed. Every quarter the State Department should identify the top 10 hate mongers, excuse makers and truth tellers in the world." That's your quote.
THOMAS FRIEDMAN: Absolutely. I believe that.
AMY GOODMAN: To make an enemy's list, the state department --
THOMAS FRIEDMAN: People who make excuses for terrorism should be exposed and identified. I also use my own pen to expose and identify people in Israel who explore hate mongering as well toward Palestinians, among the settlers. I’ve been probably one of their biggest critics and enemies in The New York Times referring to them as fanatics and lunatics.
AMY GOODMAN: For people who say we have to understand why others in the world are angry, do you think they belong on the State Department list?
THOMAS FRIEDMAN: Understanding why people are angry and understanding why people tell you that 9/11 happened, and no Jews were in the twin towers at that time because they were all warned ahead of time. So, let's be clear about what I was saying. I was very focused on people who want to justify the murder of innocent women and children, innocent civilians, and I very much believed then and I very much believe now that they should be exposed. I think Jewish hate mongers should be exposed as well as I believe I made clear in that column, too.
AMY GOODMAN: Are you concerned today in this country about people who are fiercely critical of the war in Iraq, the occupation, being called unpatriotic, being called hate mongers, being put on government lists?
THOMAS FRIEDMAN: Amy, if you read my column, one of the biggest critics of the war is the woman I live with, and I’ve probably mentioned -- I don't know how many times, in my column -- my wife's criticism of the war. I believe it's honorable. I believe it's a perfectly moral position. I would be disgusted by anyone calling them traitors.
AMY GOODMAN: And why do you trust the State Department to make the determination on who they would call terrorists for being critical of the invasion?
THOMAS FRIEDMAN: We clearly know what hate speech is and we know what legitimate opposition is. I know the difference.
AMY GOODMAN: And do you think the State Department knows the difference? The Bush administration, President Bush?
THOMAS FRIEDMAN: I think they could. I know the difference between hate speech and people who oppose a policy on legitimate grounds, and opposing the Iraq war is not hate speech, I'm sorry. Basically justifying the bombing of the World Trade Center is hate speech. I know the difference. If you don't, that's your problem.
AMY GOODMAN: Do you think the State Department does?
THOMAS FRIEDMAN: I'm not going get into this silliness.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
identify excuse makers and hate mongers
Tom Friedman was on DemocracyNow:
Posted by lukery at 6/08/2006 01:08:00 PM