Open Thread - A Pox on Friedman Edition
Glenn Greenwald did a wonderful job of exposing what a shallow and amoral creep Tom Friedman is. Yet, Glenn missed some of the worst of the Friedman cant and it was easy to find columns where Friedman has espoused even worse than the sample of columns Glenn discussed. For one, Glenn didn't find Friedman's 2002 "Crazier Than Thou" column where he was so psyched to have a crazy man like Rumsfeld in charge of our foreign policy.
No, the axis-of-evil idea isn't thought through - but that's what I like about it. It says to these countries and their terrorist pals: "We know what you're cooking in your bathtubs. We don't know exactly what we're going to do about it, but if you think we are going to just sit back and take another dose from you, you're wrong. Meet Don Rumsfeld - he's even crazier than you are."
There is a lot about the Bush team's foreign policy I don't like, but their willingness to restore our deterrence, and to be as crazy as some of our enemies, is one thing they have right. It is the only way we're going to get our turkey back.
Oh yes, "sensible centrist pundit" Tom has always had a softspot for the berzerkers in our midst.
Norman Soloman of FAIR has been following Friedman for awhile and has been pointing out that Friedman been quite an advocate for war from long before 9/11. In fact, during the Clinton years he used the phrase "Give war a chance" in a number of columns. Friedman had been looking for a real dustup for a while and didn't need the excuse of 9/11 to advocate violence. Yet, somewhere he realized that violence wasn't necessarily going to get the right results - but boy, didn't it feel good to smite your enemy. As Glenn showed, Friedman loved the idea of violence even when he knew it could go disasterously wrong.
Back in 2003, Billmon summarized Friedman's schtick thusly:
"I said before the war that Bush Administration might fuck up in Iraq, and I said during the war that the Bush Administration might fuck up in Iraq, and I said after the war that the Bush Administration might fuck up in Iraq, and now the Bush Administration has fucked up in Iraq. And it's all France's fault."
Tom has long been one of the guys that made the idea of "theraputic violence" okay and thus has a greater responsibility for the clusterf*ck in Iraq than most other media hawks who helped Bush sell his immoral war. Perhaps he has trouble sleeping because all those who have died behind his warmongering haunt his dreams. Nah. That would be expecting he has a conscience.
Your turn to rant or if you prefer, to comment on your topic du jour.