You Gotta Love Thomas Friedman

by Dec 22, 2011Foreign Policy3 comments

Ah, Thomas Friedman. You gotta love him. Here he is on December 20, 2011: With the withdrawal of the last U.S. troops from Iraq, we’re finally going to get the answer to the core question about that country: Was Iraq the way Iraq was because Saddam was the way Saddam was, or was Saddam the […]

Thomas FriedmanAh, Thomas Friedman. You gotta love him. Here he is on December 20, 2011:

With the withdrawal of the last U.S. troops from Iraq, we’re finally going to get the answer to the core question about that country: Was Iraq the way Iraq was because Saddam was the way Saddam was, or was Saddam the way Saddam was because Iraq is the way Iraq is — a collection of sects and tribes unable to live together except under an iron fist….

Iraq was always a war of choice. As I never bought the argument that Saddam had nukes that had to be taken out, the decision to go to war stemmed, for me, from a different choice: Could we collaborate with the people of Iraq to change the political trajectory of this pivotal state in the heart of the Arab world and help tilt it and the region onto a democratizing track?

Whoa. Notice the high bar he sets for himself there: “I never bought the argument that Saddam had nukes that had to be taken out…” That’s funny, because the (false) claim at the time wasn’t that Iraq had nukes, but that it was trying to obtain them.

So let’s go back in time. Here’s Friedman on September 1, 2002:

As I think about President Bush’s plans to take out Saddam Hussein and rebuild Iraq into a democracy, one question gnaws at me: Is Iraq the way it is today because Saddam Hussein is the way he is? Or is Saddam Hussein the way he is because Iraq is the way it is?

Gosh, what a familiar refrain! Let’s continue…

There is no avoiding nation-building in Iraq. Because to get at Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction we’ll need to break the regime open, like a walnut, and then rebuild it.

Doh! Seems good ol’ Tom Friedman pathetically bought into the transparent lies that Iraq had WMD after all. No wonder he had to set the bar for himself so high all these years later.

How is it possible that anyone actually takes this clown seriously? Wonders never cease. This guy winning the Pulitzer is like Henry Kissinger winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

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About Jeremy R. Hammond

About Jeremy R. Hammond

I am an independent journalist, political analyst, publisher and editor of Foreign Policy Journal, book author, and writing coach.

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3 Comments

  1. Betty Molchany

    Thanks, Jeremy, for having kept tabs on or having researched Friedman’s earlier comments. He has so often angered me that I just stopped reading his articles.

    On the other hand, he made a surprising statement in September about Netanyahu and Israel that angered Netanyahu. So, maybe he is capable of getting something right, if only one percent of the time. Here it is:
    Thomas Friedman: PM leads Israel’s most inept gov’t ever
    By JPOST.COM STAFF
    09/18/2011 11:48

    ‘NY Times’ columnist pens another rebuke of Netanyahu, says he’s incapable of conducting proper diplomacy; has “do nothing” strategy.

    Reply
  2. Mick

    Not sure if I missed the irony, Kissinger did indeed win the the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize.

    Reply
    • Jeremy R. Hammond

      Yes, and Friedman did indeed win the Pulitzer. ;)

      Reply

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