The other day I showed this video of Tom Friedman's macho posturing on Iraq back from 2003.
That he believes, or is simply promoting, this idea - the emptiness of Arab dictatorships is one of the "most troubling lessons of the Iraq invasion" - is not only chilling in both its inhumanity and disregard for the rule of domestic and international law (does he forget we illegally invaded a sovereign nation under false pretenses?), but also, contextually, all the more stunning in its willful obliviousness to what is undeniably one of the worst - if not the worst - American foreign policy decisions in our nation's history.
Yet this characteristically disingenuous Friedman narrative serves as the perfect moral blank check for the Bush administration, a timely tonic that encourages us to continue to shove "democracy" down the Iraqis' throats at the barrel of a gun while it simultaneously provides a rhetorical exit strategy if that just refuses to take: if only those Iraqis really wanted democracy, our illegal, unprovoked invasion of their country - which now accounts for nearly 4,000 deaths of American servicemen and women and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis - would be a success.
It's their fault. Not ours. We're Moses and the Iraqis are simply rejecting the Promised Land. The ingrates. Barbarians. Savages helpless to their own impulses. If only they would embrace the peaceful example with which we've so humanely provided them through "shock and awe" and unleashing the Pandora's box that every honest and knowledgeable person predicted (even Dick Cheney himself). And with such competence and attentiveness to their most basic needs - security, clean water, electricity - how could they doubt our intentions and our ability to help them forge a genuinely democratic state?