Monday, February 03, 2003


There are stupider columnists than Thomas Friedman, but none who get quite so much respect. Charles Dodgson gives us the short version of his latest here:

Some Europeans object to genetically modified food. Other Europeans smoke. Therefore, Europe as a whole has an inconsistent position on matters of personal health. And since this inconsistent position which the whole of Europe has adopted, all at once, is self-contradictory, it must not be based on a rational assessment of things; they're just trying to be something the Americans are not.

A commenter in Brad DeLong's website says, response to Friedman's statement that "It's not that there are no serious arguments to be made against war in Iraq. There are plenty. It's just that so much of what one hears coming from German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and French President Jacques Chirac are not serious arguments. "

More broadly, I think that this is probably the worst Tom Friedman piece I have ever seen. Friedman, after all, supports (in the end) this war for completely different reasons than the Bush Administration offers for fighting it.

Or, to put it another way, he could just as easily today have written "It's not that there aren't serious arguments to be made against the war. It's just that those aren't the arguments being made by George Bush."