March 2, 2003
If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck . . .
I used to think Tom Friedman was a really smart guy. Until he started touting Bush's war. It was ok, he said. It was even ok to have a war with Iraq for oil, he said. Without any provocation. He said the war would be a good thing, but only as long as Bush could do a bang-up job of rebuilding Iraq, while simultaneously noting that Bush is terrible at rebuilding -- or for that matter, building -- anything. Today he somehow notices that Bush is a moron, but Friedman still supports the war. He mentions that if he, Friedman, had been planning on invading Iraq and "installing" democracy there, he would have done all the smart, foresighted things Bush has neglected to do-- i.e., not alienated the world by blowing off the Kyoto treaty, not proposed huge tax cuts on top of other massive tax cuts when the government needs the money, "rallied the nation for real energy conservation and initiated a Manhattan Project for alternative energies so I would not find myself with $2.25-per-gallon gasoline on the eve of this war," and Friedman would have made tough new demands on Iraelis and Palestinians to try and direct the Middle East toward a lasting peace.
His conclusion: Bush's vision of domino-directed democracies in the Middle East, fueled by a military ouster of Saddam Hussein and a forced U.S.-led occupation of the country, is a "big, bold, gutsy vision." Hey, Tom, if it smells like a myopic pinhead, if it walks like a myopic pinhead, if it acts like a myopic pinhead, then any of its "visions" are the hallucinogenic fantasies of a myopic pinhead.
I don't know if anyone noticed it, Tom, but you can't swap out government types like agitators in washing machines. You can't "install" a democracy. Governments aren't modular components, like circuit boards in some huge electronic machine. They're infinitely complex and dynamic societal systems.
On the same page, Maureen Dowd highlights some facts which show how myopic and short-sighted -- and utterly imbecilic -- the Bush plan for Iraq is. It was being touted by Bush's lackeys -- or should I say, his superiors? -- as early as 1992, when and Wolfowitz were championing it and Bush's dad was -- never believed I'd be writing this -- smart enough then to reject it. 1992? This administration is so short-sighted that double-thick coke-bottom-bottle glasses couldn't help them out.
Posted by Tom Burka at 7:18 PM