Friedman’s first rule

“What people tell you in private in the Middle East is irrelevant. All that matters is what they will defend in public in their own language. Anything said to you in English, in private, doesn’t count. In Washington, officials lie in public and tell the truth off the record. In the Middle East, officials say what they really believe in public and tell you what you want to hear in private.”

Thomas Friedman finally gets something (mostly) right.  Read all 15 rules here.

One Response to “Friedman’s first rule”

  1. Shalom Freedman says:

    This is an interesting and astute comment. However I would qualify it in one way. Often the very same leader says two different things to two different publics. It would seem to me that this leads to an even more general rule, which is ‘Don’t trust completely anything any politican says’. This is probably a rule internalized by most people over the age of thirty by now.
    However I would too make one qualification, and it is , “If an extremist leader says he intends to kill you, believe him.”