The Iraq War - 20 Friedman Unit Edition
As we have all been reminded repeatedly, tragically and evensickeningly, the 10th Anniversary of the Iraq War was this week, and in his latest column, New York Times mustache-support unit and cultural symbol of vague idiocy Thomas Friedman joined the ranks of pundits using the occasion to either excuse their support for the war or celebrate their opposition. Mr. Friedman, of course, has a lot that he should answer for - if we could ever understand a damn thing he was talking about, what with him being the living breathing symbol of head up your ass moronic-posit-posturing and all. But no. The man who for 10 years now has been so positively, nonsensically, indefinitely inaccurate about ANYTHING that would happen in the "next six months" is not about to muck up his perfect record.
On this 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, three things are clear. First, whatever happens in Iraq, we overpaid for it in lives and treasure and focus. Second, you can overpay for something decent and you can overpay for total junk. What exactly we overpaid for in Iraq is not yet clear and will be decided by Iraqis. Third, as much as we’d prefer to forget about Iraq, what happens there matters more than ever for the Middle East.
You get that? Three things are CLEAR about Iraq, especially that second thing he says is not clear yet. Well done Mr. Friedman! And yes, as much as we Americans want to forget Iraq exists because we are ready to bomb Iran now, what happens in a place that is in a place is very important to that place. See? Clarity, Friedman style.
Thomas The Brain also logics this:
Today there are no outsiders — no Ottomans, Europeans, Americans, Arab League or U.N. — who want to govern in the place of dictators and no dictators who can sustain their iron fists.
Wait, what? Is this a joke? Did the people who put articles in the New York Times just give up already and start using the "Thomas Friedman OpEd Generator"? Seriously, if you want some mindless amusement, go play with the Random Friedman Generator, and then, after you have read a few, read this latest column again, you will not be able to tell the difference. Friedman most assuredly fails the Turing test, because computers may not be able to perfectly mimic human intelligence yet, but they can mimic Thomas Friedman's stupidity perfectly. Let us parse that last thing anyway, for the lulz: "No one from anywhere wants to take over a place with dictators and no dictators have fists and oh God screw it." Here's the point, Thomas Friedman is still wrong, and cabdrivers and students are concerned, but hopeful; they are moving forward, going backward and they are changing, but the same. It's an uphill battle, to coast downhill on our flat earth world.
It may take two generations for those young voices of Baghdad University to prevail. Or it may take much longer. Or it may never happen. Any honest look at Iraq today reveals seeds of civil society sprouting and poisonous sectarianism spreading. For their sake, for the sake of stability in the Arab world and for the sake of all who sacrificed so Iraqis could have an opportunity for decent governance, I hope the 20th anniversary is an occasion for a more positive judgment.
A thousand words, all to say nothing. Paragraphical shrugging is awesome. And it may take two generations, it may take much longer, it may never happen, but eventually Thomas Friedman will make sense, or stop writing, or ride a tandem bicycle alone with a cabdriver into the sunset at dawn.
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