Monday, May 21, 2007

Tom Friedman is Still an Idiot

Every so often, I check in on a Tom Friedman Op/Ed piece in the New York Times just to see if, against all odds, Friedman has turned back into the respected and respectable writer/Middle East analyst he used to be. Yesterday, he gave advice to Bush’s new War Czar, Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute. That’s okay. It’s hard to resist the temptation. Czar Lute, of course, won’t take anyone’s advice, because he’s already had plenty of advice from people who can recognize a no-win job when they see one. And he took it anyway. Lt. Gen. War Czar Lute is beyond hope. Friedman outlines the memo he thinks Lute should send to the Prez. Lute should say, Friedman advises, “We have to reassess our strategy (with Iraq and Iran)…We brought down the hard walls that surrounded Iran by destroying Iran’s two archenemies—the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam’s regime in Iraq…as a result, we are dealing today with an emboldened, resurgent Iran, which has taken advantage of our good works to expand its economic, cultural, religious and geopolitical influence into Persian-speaking western Afghanistan and into Shiite Iraq.” Took advantage of our GOOD WORKS? Tom Friedman is still an idiot. Even if he made his good works remark tongue-in-cheek, which he didn’t, he’s an idiot. The US didn’t destroy the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam’s regime in Iraq has been replaced by chaos, terrorism and civil war, surely no improvement and no favor to Iran. Bush said Iran was part of an “axis of evil” in his State of the Union address on January 20, 2002. He closed off all dialogue between the United States and Iran, a country that Republican saint Ronald Reagan had armed to the teeth. And then, fearing the aftermath of what the US had wrought in Iran, the US decided it should bring down Iran's Islamic regime. Having botched its relationship with Iran, the US set about to conquer Iraq in order to have military bases in a country sitting directly between the United States’ new enemy Iran and the Bush family’s old buddy and oil-ally Saudi Arabia. We attacked Iraq and made a mess of it. Only because Iraq was weak and Hussein was more incompetent and muddled than George W. Bush did we happen to bring Saddam Hussein down. We destroyed the country, fomented international terrorism and started a civil war, which cannot be contained. These are good works? Tom Friedman is an idiot.

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