The EU needs assistance

“Friends and Refugees in Need,” by Thomas L. Friedman of The New York Times. Published on January 27, 2016.

Thomas L. Friedman’s article, “Friends and Refugees in Need (2016),” argues that the flood of refugee crises is slowly crippling the European Union’s strength. Friedman authenticates his argument through the use of an expert, personal commentary, and a background of the origins of the problem facing the EU. His purpose is to plead his audience, most likely politically-invested individuals and the friends he has made at a seminar (states that he is in Stockholm at beginning), and most importantly, the member countries of the EU, to help with the refugee crisis because an overwhelmed Germany may pull out soon.

Friedman’s concerning tone follows from his previous article; this issue was one he addressed. Friedman is very aware of his audience; he acknowledges that by explicitly stating “EU” in title, nobody would pay attention. Also, he provides the answer to one important question: why should America care? Well, he gives an easy answer to even the most politically-outdated person, which is that the European Union is the “United States of Europe,” a central system made of states together providing actions towards the modern day issues. In addition to miscellaneous, yet important facts, Friedman features a supporting individual that brings attention to a need that will have to be addressed soon: “As long as there is ‘war without law and without end in Syria,’ the refugee flow will continue, with all its destabilizing implications.” This allows the reader to leave the article with an intense, pensive focus on this current issue.


5 thoughts on “The EU needs assistance

  1. I think your pundits appeal to pathos, through what seems like fear tactic, was effective to their piece. Breaking the fourth wall for the audience’s sake by asking himself ‘why should we care’ was a big factor in impressing his significance in the piece. The outsider’s view on an issue was made up for through that method of appeals, as his purpose seems to merely be to persuade the audience that we should be concerned about this matter. I wonder, though, if it is just a characteristic of our country to have to be involved in order to be invested?


  2. In this article, Friedman is aware of his limited audience, therefore, uses this as an opportunity to invest into this issue. By talking directly to us and in some ways, making us feel special by putting us into a small group. This is important to captivate the few readers he has to discuss something he obviously finds important.


  3. You wrote that the intended audience was “the member countries of the EU,” but if he was truly trying to appeal to the leaders of countries in the EU, would he have done it through an opinion column? What do you think his motive might have been in publishing something arguing for a certain governmental move in a newspaper? Is there an underlying intended audience?


  4. The refugee crisis- for lack of a better word- is a hot mess. The EU is obviously unable to resolve the crisis alone but I am not sure that I agree with Friedman that the best strategy is to throw money and American coffins at the problem. I see Friedman’s logical path, but fixing the EU will take more than the aid that the US can provide alone. While the article was amusing, I am not sure how Friedman expects America to fix the problem. America’s aid in the EU will be comparable to placing a bandage over a broken window and pretending that’s okay.


  5. Harrison,

    I find that the transition from a question to a conclusion is an effective way to organize an argument and is pleasing to the reader. By asking a rhetorical question about why America should care, Friedman is inviting his audience to hear his opinions, as well as establishing the significance of the piece.


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