Analyze foreign affairs like Tom Friedman

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. 



2 thoughts on “Analyze foreign affairs like Tom Friedman”

  1. I feel freer already.

    Speaking of ad hominems, my understanding (and working definition) is that it is only an argumentum ad hominem if the personal aspects of the attack are not relevant to the matter at hand. So to my (admittedly contrarian) way of thinking (don’t laugh) matters as to whether Friedman had ever served, ever endured his home getting the living $#!* blown out of it by an aerial bombing, tried to make due with only 2 hours of electricity a day while mortifying bodies are lying in the streets for days being eaten by the dogs, strike me as materially relevant to Friedman’s qualifications to pontificate on what the Iraqi people ought to endure with promiscuous gratitude.

  2. What qualifies Friedman is indeed a relevant question–his general lack of experience in the field of being “liberated” makes me wonder about his grasp of the realities on the ground–and I’d agree with you, Gary, this wouldn’t be fallacious–just real questions about the basis of Friedman’s judgment.

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