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?