Thank you Tom Friedman

Posted on June 27, 2011


In his delightful and unique style, Tom Friedman alerts readers that the opinion that follows from his introduction is surely boilerplate, facile, uninformed, superficial, dial-it-in-for-a-buck,  knowledge erasing, the-discursive-equivalent-of-a-happy-meal bullshit.

WHEN President Obama announced his decision to surge more troops into Afghanistan in 2009, I argued that it could succeed if three things happened: Pakistan became a different country, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan became a different man and we succeeded at doing exactly what we claim not to be doing, that is nation-building in Afghanistan. None of that has happened, which is why I still believe our options in Afghanistan are: lose early, lose late, lose big or lose small. I vote for early and small.

My wariness about Afghanistan comes from asking these three questions: When does the Middle East make you happy? How did the cold war end? What would Ronald Reagan do? Let’s look at all three.

Otherwise I would have to refer to the three questions I always ask before reading a NYT column.  Does it reduce complex issues to a three point punchline? Is Tom Friedman’s picture next to it? Do the words “by Thomas Friedman” appear between the headline and the first paragraph?