I have to be honest, I didn’t think he had the prunes. I definitely thought he had spent the last few years with his reinvention as a green-memeing faux-techno-economist trying to run as far away from Iraq as possible. But Tom Friedman is made of sterner stuff, apparently–and by stuff, I mean self-delusional bullshit.
In today’s New York Times, Freidman’s premature and completely insane “Good Bye Iraq, and Good Luck” has this amazing paragraph:
I am amazed in talking to U.S. Army officers here as to how much they’ve learned from and about Iraqis. It has taken way too long, but our soldiers understand this place. But what about Iraqis? There are now many Iraqis embedded with U.S. forces in Kirkuk. In the dining hall on the main base, I like to watch the Iraqi officers watching the melting pot of U.S. soldiers around them — men, women, blacks, whites, Asians, Hispanics — and wonder: What have they learned from us? We left some shameful legacies here of torture and Abu Ghraib, but we also left a million acts of kindness and a profound example of how much people of different backgrounds can accomplish when they work together.
That’s right! The only thing we got wrong was that Abu Ghraib thing, and that really wasn’t our fault, that was just a few over-eager hill-billies up all night snorting crystal meth. Forget all that bombing and shooting your uncle and son stuff, that’s such not a big deal; and sort of leveling a lot of your cities and imprisoning a lot of your children, you should probably let that one go too; and the torturing and the guys insulting you in front of your daughter, hey don’t hold it in. Aside, from that, you crazy-lucky Iraqis have a million acts of kindness to use as your example about how to get along, from our fantastically clear-headed gay-banning military!
Whew. Good to know that our government doesn’t have to learn anything from that fiasco. That would be a downer and a half. But what about the Amazing Friedman himself? Isn’t there something he would have to necessarily learn from the last eight years? Friedman practically begged George W. Bush to go to war in Iraq because “it would clean up a bad neighborhood” and help our kids “grow up in a safer world”. This is all well known, I’m even recycling it from another blog article I wrote months ago. Well known to everyone but Friedman.
Even after the initial invasion. This is the guy who after all said this to Charlie Rose:
What’s to learn? He seems to have seen everything clearly, terrorism bubble bad, invading Iraq and igniting a civil war good. And this is the man who for nearly a decade of horrors, said we would be turning the corner in Iraq in “six months”.
Really, my pitiful attempts at sarcasm can’t even begin to portray the utter absurdity of Thomas Friedman wondering if the Iraqis will learn the lessons of our invasion of Iraq. But I feel better having given it a try.