Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Thomas Friedman's Position Four Years Later

Sometimes Thomas Friedman gets it mostly right. Here's the end of his column in the New York Times today (link is to the main page):
Now President Bush wants a "surge" of more U.S. troops to Baghdad, in one last attempt to bring order. Whenever I hear this surge idea, I think of a couple who recently got married but the marriage was never very solid. Then one day they say to each other, "Hey, let's have a baby, that will bring us together." It never works.

If the underlying union is not there, adding a baby won't help. And if the underlying willingness to share power and resources is not present among the major communities in Iraq, adding more U.S. troops won't help either. Adding more troops makes sense only if it's to buy more time for positive trends that have already begun to appear on the horizon. I don't see them.

As Saddam's hanging underscored, Iraqis are doing things their way. So maybe it's time to get out of their way.

I would argue that Bush is less interested in making one last attempt to bring order to Iraq than he is in one of two things: avoiding accountability and looking for another war to distract people from his fiasco in Iraq. Bush's many follies, of course, are difficult to ignore at this late date.

If you get a chance (and can locate it in the next day or two), take a look at Maureen Dowd's Wednesday column where she tells us what people were really thinking at Ford's funeral after reading Bob Woodward's excerpts from his interviews with the former president; it's Maureen Dowd in her best Washington gossip mode—priceless. It will take another election or two but we clearly need a changing of the guard in Washington and a healthy dose of fresh ideas and fresh energy.

Labels: , , ,


Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

I've come to cringe at the prospect of sampling any more of Friedman's self-satisfied strain of (supposed) wisdom. However, in this one he's got it right.

So have you, but I will add my 2 cents' worth.

At certain junctures, Bush is jarred from staying his course concerning whatever by Rove, Cheney or some really big external event or circumstance. One such begat his DOA roadmap for Middle East peace. We have another to thank for his rendition of a Department of Homeland Security. A third brought to an end his expensive, brain-dead cross-country quest for support of his Social Security privatization scheme.

Now, he must be seen as doing something decisive and commader-in-chiefish about Iraq. However, Bush's underlying goal is to stay his failed, bloody, costly course until he's out of office, although if at all possible he'll OK a drawdown of forces beginning early in '08, in deference to Republicans hoping to have a chance at the polls in '08.

To do anything else is, in his mind I suspect, tantamount to admitting what a colossal mistake he made invading Iraq and what an unmitigated disaster his half-baked know-it-all minions have perpetrated there, under his unfailingly bad leadership and misdirection.

12:38 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home