March 18, 2015

Have you often wondered what goes on in the mind of Thomas Friedman? I know you don't, but I have. If you've forgotten, Friedman was asked by Charlie Rose if attacking Iraq was worth it and he responded by getting giddy over Middle east "bubbles" and then famously quipped that America had to go over there and burst those bubbles.

What they needed to see was American boys and girls going house to house, from Basra to Baghdad, um and basically saying, "Which part of this sentence don't you understand?"

You don't think, you know, we care about our open society, you think this bubble fantasy, we're just gonna to let it grow?

Well, Suck. On. This.


That, Charlie, was what this war was about. We could've hit Saudi Arabia, it was part of that bubble. We coulda hit Pakistan. We hit Iraq because we could.

Failing to learn how frelling stupid his worldview is and how wrong he was on our involvement in Iraq, he now wonders if we should be arming ISIS, our sworn enemy because - Iran!

Thomas Friedman, in a solemn piece following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s stunning electoral performance Tuesday, asks his readers “Should we be arming ISIS?”

While top Pentagon officials have indicated that Iranian forces could be helpful in beating back the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIS, Friedman has his doubts about the strategy.

“Why are we, for the third time since 9/11, fighting a war on behalf of Iran?” Friedman writes in his New York Times column, suggesting that ISIL is the “homegrown Sunni Arab response” to the fall of Saddam Hussein, the Taliban, and any “durable counterbalance to Iran.”

“I simply raise this question rhetorically because no one else is: Why is it in our interest to destroy the last Sunni bulwark to a total Iranian takeover of Iraq? Because the Shiite militias now leading the fight against ISIS will rule better? Really?”

Since the aftermath of 9/11,we've been arming, bombing, droning, attacking and fighting in the middle east with no permanent effect except to throw the whole region into chaos. How many more years must we continue to employ the same failed strategies and have pundits and politicians alike debate flawed opinions from people like Thomas, who are always wrong?

Digby writes:

This is the nonsensical point of view that Marco Rubio was throwing out there when he suggested to John Kerry that the administration was making a "bad deal" with Iran because of ISIS. Evidently, it's simply impossible to walk and even breathe at the same time with these people. Asking them to chew gum at the same time would likely put them into a coma. Like Rubio, Friedman apparently is of the belief that we must take sides and that it probably makes sense to side with the medieval beheaders. (Kerry did patiently explain to Rubio that the nuclear arms deal exists separate and apart from any concerns about ISIS becausethey are trying to avoid a fucking nuclear war.)

I know it's hard to believe, but maybe it would be better if we concentrate on not arming anyone in the region for a while --- or blowing anything up, or "advising" anyone or putting boots on the ground or anything else. We don't seem to accomplish anything by doing it except make things worse. In fact, the onlyintervention at this point that makes any sense at all is a negotiated deal to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. We just don't have a very good history of keeping straight in our heads who the "good guys" and the "bad guys" are. (Mujahadeen anyone?) Maybe it's best we keep a little distance this time.

Maybe some day it will occur to our Very Serious People that invading and/or "arming" people in complicated conflicts halfway across the world isn't really our strong suit. Unfortunately, it's just as likely the US is going to continue to believe the fatuous notion that the "exceptional" US is the one "indispensable" nation and therefore must always be right in the middle of everything. It's always all about us. Perhaps we should consider that a sectarian fight between Shia and Suni Islam is just a tad above our pay grade.

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.