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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:12 AM
Original message
Tom Friedman Sucks Yet Again
1. I don't know why NYT thinks anybody should have to pay for access to shit like this. But if this, David Brooks, and John Tierney is the kind of crap they're printing in their paper, it's no surprise they're losing money.

2. Friedman is still trying to backdoor justify his support for this idiotic, lie-based, and supremely destructive war, this time by trying to blame the US failure (for some unnamed mission - maybe one of the many missions team Bush/Friedman described for us in Iraq) on a large segment of people whose lives have been thrown into complete chaos by our invasion.

3. Friedman is more of a patronizing blowhard than ever before, using that homey yet condescending "folks" for example, just to let us know that Andy of Mayberry would like us all to simmer down now so he can tell us what's what. And Friedman suffers from that all-too-human trait of most patronizing blowhards: overconfidence in his own simpleton beliefs.

Ladies and Germs, I present once again the Global Village Idiot of Laissez-Fairy Land, Mr. Tom Friedman:

(pay site)
http://select.nytimes.com/2005/09/28/opinion/28friedman...

So, folks, we are faltering in Iraq today in part because of the Bush team's incompetence, but also because of the moral vacuum in the Sunni Arab world, where the worst are engaged in murderous ethnic cleansing - and trying to stifle any prospect of democracy here - and the rest are too afraid, too weak, too lost or too anti-Shiite to do anything about it.

Maybe the cynical Europeans were right. Maybe this neighborhood is just beyond transformation. That will become clear in the next few months as we see just what kind of minority the Sunnis in Iraq intend to be. If they come around, a decent outcome in Iraq is still possible, and we should stay to help build it. If they won't, then we are wasting our time. We should arm the Shiites and Kurds and leave the Sunnis of Iraq to reap the wind. We must not throw more good American lives after good American lives for people who hate others more than they love their own children.


Tom Friedman, you were the biggest cheerleader for the US invasion of Iraq. And now you are copping out and trying to blame the invaded for the failure of your wrong-headed daydream. Shame on you, fucking asshole.
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joemurphy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:19 AM
Response to Original message
1. You're absolutely right about Friedman
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 12:30 AM by joemurphy
Tom Friedman lost me when he joined the Bush bandwagon and came out in favor of an invasion of Iraq. Prior to that time I thought he was fairly knowledgeable about the Middle East. But in choosing to back Bush's plan for military action against Iraq he hitched his wagon to the Neocon pipedream that somehow the Middle East could be remade by the United States into a group of shining new democracies -- a sort of Islamic Europe with lots of representative republics, responsive to the collective will of their people, and pacific in their purpose and intent. The Iraq intervention would have the twin results of repressing terrorism and solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That, in turn, was going to bring an era of peace to the Middle East.

Friedman's endorsement of the Iraq War came in a column in which he said that we "had to do something" to answer the 911 attacks. In espousing mindless action, he was well-aware of the fact that there was no real link between Iraq and 911. Friedman, however, by his own admission, didn't care. Conditions had come to the point where America had to show somebody, somewhere in the Middle East, that it was no nation to be trifled with. Iraq, said Friedman, was as good a place as any to do that.

Friedmans "we have to do something" and "we can democratize the Middle East" ideas were departures from both his past journalism and from the realpolitik to which he and his Neocon friends had previously paid lip service. Both ideas have since proven disastrous to Iraq and to the United States. Terrorism, the root cause of our intervention, is now worse than ever and, instead of becoming truly democratic, Iraq has devolved into a chaos of sectarian violence, armed militias, daily bombings, kidnappings, assassinations, and blatant war-profiteering. It is increasingly clear that we cannot bring stability to Iraq. Indeed, our presence there is exacerbating Iraqs inherent instability.

A repressed and desperate country under Saddam, Iraq now may not even be a country at all. Its public services are a shambles and its people are in most ways more cowed and financially destitute than they were under their former dictator. Since the war, Iraq's ethnic and religious divisions have widened. Public safety is non-existent in most urban areas. Oil revenues have dried up and pipelines are repeatedly cut by a hydra-headed armed insurgency that an undermanned and ill-equipped American military has proven unable to control. There is less electricity and oil produced in Iraq now than there was under Saddam, as its electrical power grids and pipelines are routinely sabotaged. The Iraqi people themselves are desperate for jobs and security and neither are in the foreseeable offing. Reconstruction has been stymied by graft, profiteering, and the ongoing violence.

Nor do the portents for Iraqs long-term future appear bright. Those portents include an inevitable American pullout that will probably be sooner than later, violent civil war, and ultimately some kind of partition along ethic and religious lines. Meanwhile, as the U.S. fights to keep a lid on everything, Iraqs Shiis move closer to their coreligionists in Iran, its Sunnis grow increasingly angry, wary, and alienated, and the Kurds move to consolidate their position in anticipation of gaining the oil fields around Kirkuk and the political independence which have always been their true aim. Private militias encompassing all factions are now arming themselves for the anticipated combat to come. Foreign jihadists continue to pour in, exploiting these internal divisions and serving to further destabilize the country. Suffice it to say that in Iraq we now have something akin to a present Somalia, a former Lebanon or a pre-Taliban Afghanistan in the making a questionable nation being torn apart by a total breakdown in public order that seems to be increasingly moving toward faction, warlordism, and militia rule.

Our always somewhat fictitious "coalition of the willing" has now completely fallen apart. The Poles, Italians, and Spaniards have rightly seen the current situation as hopeless and have either pulled out or are in the process of doing so. Our only real ally, Great Britain, we now learn, has formulated plans to follow them.

For the American people, the Iraq war has meant a huge national debt, thousands of soldiers killed or maimed for life, and a democracy that has countenanced the torture of Abu Ghraib, the indefinite internment of minors at Guantanamo, and a weakened National Guard that, as the aftermath of Katrina has shown, is also needed at home. Our domestic immigration policy has become increasingly xenophobic and discriminatory against people of Islamic belief. Jingoism is now routinely used for political and ideological ends. We now debate laws in the halls of Congress that tolerate the examination of library records and the search of homes without the knowledge of the affected citizenry. It is now feasible to imprison American citizens and hold them incommunicado based solely on "enemy combatant" designations, without access to lawyers or to due process of law. The government uses ridiculous color-codes, unfounded rumor, and alarming news reports to ratchet up fear instead of quieting it. We now have our bags searched before taking subway rides, entering public buildings, or attending sporting events. We have to remove our shoes to ride airplanes. Security guards are everywhere. Metal detectors and pat-downs are now a public norm. And for all the billions spent, a hurricane has shown that we cant even manage the anticipated threats from natural calamities and raised doubts about our ability to cope with a surprise attack from terrorists.

Meanwhile, our vaunted all-volunteer army has been debilitated by a war without aims or exit strategy. Without a draft, manning it has become problematic. Forty year olds are now encouraged to enlist as buck privates and high schools are complaining about cajolment of students on the part of military recruiters. Our people have been coarsened and inured to an erosion of their ideals and their financial well-being. Worst of all, none of this seems to be getting any better. Owing to a near absence of meaningful leadership, there appears to be no clear path out of our present malaise. Most Americans I know are not sanguine about the future.

Men like Tom Friedman, the cheerleaders for our intervention in Iraq, have proven to be failed visionaries. In view of their past errors of judgment, they no longer merit being listened to. Personally, I no longer care what Tom Friedman has to say about Iraq or about anything else. To me he has become worse than irrelevant. He has become a cipher. To hell with him, and to hell with the others like him those that are responsible for all this.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. what he said (nt)
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ugarte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Wow, great post. You covered it...nt
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Corgigal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. Sy
It's nice to see you stop by. Post more often.
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punpirate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #1
10. Friedman should have been...
... damned for mere cleverness long, long ago. In the fundamentals, he's been short-sighted and lacking in real depth of analysis. Anyone who perverts Lennon's "give peace a chance" for the sake of promoting war ("give war a chance") has some considerable problems with critical thinking.

He's never impressed me as one of the great minds of our time. Like Bush, he's basically a cheerleader for a corrupt and decaying system. His continued employment at the Times only confirms my belief that the Great Gray Lady has whored herself. Friedman, more properly, belongs on the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal....
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:48 AM
Response to Reply #1
17. My add: Friedman kept saying it could be done the RIGHT way
and that Bush was letting opportunities slip away---

And he kept saying it for THREE YEARS.

I figured, "Sooner or later, Friedman is going to have to admit that any opportunity to turn Iraq into a decent place have been lost, now that Bush has done the exact opposition of his recommendations for another six months." ''

But no. Friedman never pulled the plug, never admitted that the the opportunity has passed, that Iraq couldn't be fixed. Apparently what he said about opportunities that had to be taken wasn't true, because Bush never took them and Friedman kept pretending they were still available.......

So I stopped reading the column, since I had already read the Iraq column a dozen times.



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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:24 AM
Response to Original message
2. When I heard about TimesSelect, I howled with laughter.
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 12:25 AM by Fenris
Frankly, reading most of that shit for free I still felt ripped off. With the exception of Bob Herbert, Frank Rich, Paul Krugman, and occasionally Maureen Dowd, the Times op-ed page is pretty useless. That anyone would pay $50 a year for drivel you could read at a library for free (or in a newspaper for a couple of quarters) is frightening.

And as for Friedman, this line kills me:

We must not throw more good American lives after good American lives for people who hate others more than they love their own children.

Oh, that just tears at my heart-strings, Tombo.
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:25 AM
Response to Original message
4. The guy has always been a wuss
It's amazing how he manages to come around to a point of view without ever saying that HE MADE AN ERROR IN JUDGMENT. Very Bushlike, that attitude, come to think of it...

And the NYT is NUTS, IMO. Advertising oughta cover them, I cannot figure out why they cannot make ends meet...
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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:29 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Re: NYT going behind the pay wall
A similar move has hurt the Wall Street Journal's print ad revenue, and this move will surely diminish the Times' ubiquity, relevance, mindshare, and revenue stream. Going behind the pay wall is a dumb decision made by myopic bean counters. NYT will suffer.
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Burried News Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
6. Still see yourself as the one to do the thinking for us don't you Tom.
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wiggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:31 AM
Response to Original message
8. Reading: The World is Flat
Have to say the subject matter is marginally interesting (globalization, technology, economics, China, India, etc) but his right-leaning bias bubbles up into his narration frequently enough to make it irritating and distracting.

Another irritating aspect of the book in case Friedman is watching: over-indulgence in the "flat world" theme of the book. Enough already.

Going to take serious discipline to finish.
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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. I've been seduced by Friedman's airport newstand books too
but his gee-whiz mentality, corny prose, penchant for oversimplification, and (like you said) flogging of metaphors just gets to be too much.

There are a lot of intelligent books about globalization. John Gray's False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism is one that comes to mind.

I enjoyed Friedman's The Lexus and the Olive Tree myself, but when I was finished I found myself craving something of substance to read. Friedman is the Harlequin Romance writer of the world affairs shelf.
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stickdog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:41 AM
Response to Original message
11. Yes, Tom, everything would be sunny if not for the Sunnis.
What a load of Shiite.

The purpose of this war is to keep Iraq in chaos so we can have both the power and the excuse to use Iraq as a major base for our greater imperialistic aspirations in the Middle East. If the Iraqis don't misbehave enough, we simply send in the blacks ops to pick up the slack.
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gumby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 12:54 AM
Response to Original message
13. Shorter Tom?
If those Iraqis won't submit to Our Greatness, we should just leave and let them kill each other. If those Iraqis can't take personal responsibility, then they should get the Welfare Reform in Death Taxes.

joemurphy, great post.
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zara Donating Member (470 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:36 AM
Response to Original message
14. My boss loves Friedman. His neocon cheerleading makes me puke.
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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #14
20. Friedman's a smashing success in the business suit world.
He makes the frequent fliers all giddy. I think he and Michael Lewis have a secret alternating years publishing agreement. One year the suitboys are toting around Moneyball, and the next year it's The World is Flat.
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:04 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. I saw my father reading "The World Is Flat" one day...
I just shook my head. I really think they must hand that book out in office buildings.
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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:09 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. You're right, they probably do.
Either that or The World is Flat is the new Bhavagad Gita, and the orange robe boys are sticking that into the hands of hapless pedestrians after that initial obliging handshake.
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:35 AM
Response to Reply #22
25. "Can I speak with you for a moment about the new global economy?"
"It will only take a few minutes. I have some literature here that will change your whole way of thinking!"
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zara Donating Member (470 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. Fenris was the name of Loki's wolf in Norse Mythology, NO?
Love creative names like that. PLease elaborate if I've got it wrong.
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Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:38 AM
Response to Original message
15. You are confusing
two separate issues.

I disagree totally with Friedman on Iraq.

However he is right on globalization, and you ignore it at your peril.
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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:41 AM
Response to Reply #15
19. There are much better writers on globalization than Friedman.
John Gray is one. Steve Roach is another.

Friedman may be "right," as you say, on some aspects of globalization but his analysis lacks much depth and his conclusions rarely achieve anything beyond the rudimentary.
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #15
23. He is no where near right on globalization.
His analysis of globalization is infantile.
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zara Donating Member (470 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #15
28. The Lexus and the Olive Tree is Internet Boom Hyperbole.
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entanglement Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:50 AM
Response to Original message
16. The Friedpig speaks again
'hate others more than they love their own children' classic RW hate propaganda
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Justice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 06:53 AM
Response to Original message
18. Would be funny, if it weren't so sad.
We went to save them, they didn't want to be saved.
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charlie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:25 AM
Response to Original message
24. I hate that facile tapdancing prick
If the Sunnis roll like puppydogs, Sadr's arch-Shiite crew will still be glad to derail Iraqi unity and kill anyone, including other Shiites, who resist a hardline Sharia state. He knows that.
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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
26. I wonder how Tom would feel if HIS job were outsourced
But Friedman knows that his job as a pop-politics columnist is protected. So, let the little guy eat cake, instead.

:mad:
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