Sunday, January 23, 2005

Blame-Shifting Most Foul

Here's Tom Friedman with more of his patented (but certainly not unique)"old Europe" complaints, this time about their recalcitrance in getting in there and dying with us on the occasion of the elections:

"What's sad is that right when we have reached crunch time in Iraq, the West is totally divided. All that the Europeans care about is being able to say to George Bush, "We told you so." What happens the morning after "We told you so" ? Well, the Europeans don't have a Plan B either."
Guess what, Tom? They didn't start it. They didn't have an obligation to look ahead and see their way out of it because they didn't want it in the first place. We, who did, clearly still have no clue as to how to make this work even after two long years. And in fact, if you didn't notice, we in the States are pretty damned divided ourselves.

He then goes on to argue that the real War On Terra is not one of guns but of--can you believe it?--IDEAS! Jesus, what a concept! Imagine if we had gotten a clue about this back in 1993, or after Kenya, or while we were using friendly Arab governments like Egypt to do our dirty interrogation work? But he seems to think that it's only just now, with a gun to our national head, that we should be worrying about this. Decades of failed and hypocritical policies (freedom? human rights? oh, stop before you soil yourself!) have been coming home to roost. But somehow all this will all be wiped away by the holding of elections that no one understands, with so many candidates no one can figure them out, in limited areas only a relative few people can get to, under circumstances that can only be described as Bosnian. They can't get gasoline to travel, they don't have water, only a couple hours of electricity a day during the coldest time of the year, and it's all their lives are worth to step outside the door some days, let alone be seen trying to get out on election day to vote. But here he is, parroting the same old tired lines about how the Iraqis have to "take control of their own future", which is Helleresque in its irony, since it was our fumbling hubris that enabled the destruction of the infrastructure needed to help them do that very thing. Can you imagine our politicians (even our politicians) expecting us to go out on election day and vote under these circumstances? Can you imagine the American people (even Americans) putting up with it?
But I digress. Tom sez:
"Condi Rice told the Senate that the "time for diplomacy is now." Give me a break. The time for diplomacy was two years ago. We would be so much better off now if the entire European Union was actively urging Iraqis to vote, and using its own moral legitimacy in the Arab world to delegitimize the insurgents."
Now I read Friedman in the run-up to the war, and nowhere do I recall him ever writing that we should back off and use diplomacy. God knows he manufactured plenty of reasons for getting in there, even while bleating that the ones Bush put forward were disingenuous.
But the best part is that "moral legitimacy" chestnut. Why? Because he should know as well as anyone else that nobody sees the US as a moral paragon anymore. On that count, we really do need someone else to make our bullshit rhetoric believable.
He ends with this stunning warning vignette:

" I spent Friday morning interviewing two 18-year-old French Muslim girls in the Paris immigrant district of St.-Ouen...
Both girls I interviewed wore veils and one also wore a full Afghan-like head-to-toe covering; one was of Egyptian parents, the other of Tunisian parents, but both were born and raised in France. What did I learn from them? That they got all their news from Al Jazeera TV, because they did not believe French TV, that the person they admired most in the world was Osama bin Laden, because he was defending Islam, that suicide "martyrdom" was justified because there was no greater glory than dying in defense of Islam, that they saw themselves as Muslims first and French citizens last, and that all their friends felt pretty much the same."
And this is so much more alarming than the growth of the Theocracy in our own backyard. Jesus. Four more years of this horseshit.

1 comment:

Bartleby said...

Maybe it's just me ... does it seem ironic to anyone else that somebody who tosses around the word "fascist" as a throwaway tag for people who are fighting a foreign invader on their turf then complains that "we" aren't UNITED? Does Friedman have any idea what the word "fascist" means, or where the idea came from?

Probably not.

Oh, well, at least he didn't go all the way and use "Islamofascist." Or, if he did, I managed to miss it. Something I plan to go on doing.