Tom Friedman on Iraq today:
One of the first things I realized when visiting Iraq after the U.S. invasion was that the very fact that Iraqis did not liberate themselves, but had to be liberated by Americans, was a source of humiliation to them. It’s one reason they never threw flowers. When someone else has to liberate you in your own home, that is humiliating — and humiliation, I believe, is the single-most underestimated force in international relations, especially in the Middle East.
Tom Friedman on Iraq, May 30, 2003 (transcript courtesy of Atrios):
I think it [the invasion of Iraq] was unquestionably worth doing, Charlie.
We needed to go over there, basically, um, and um, uh, take out a very big stick right in the heart of that world and burst that bubble, and there was only one way to do it.
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 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. That's the real truth.
Remarkable they don't feel liberated by the likes of Friedman. Remarkable indeed.