Saturday, March 15, 2003

Friedman and Iraq

What Jack Balkin says.

Friedman has given up. What took you so long Tom?

Some days, you pick up the newspaper and you don't know whether to laugh or cry. Let's see, the prime minister of Serbia just got shot, and if that doesn't seem like a bad omen then you missed the class on World War I. Our strongest ally for war in Iraq is Bulgaria — a country I've always had a soft spot for, because it protected its Jews during World War II, but a country that's been on the losing side of every war in the last 100 years. Congress is renaming French fries "freedom fries." George Bush has managed to lose a global popularity contest to Saddam Hussein, and he's looking to build diplomatic support in Europe by flying to the Azores, a remote archipelago in the Atlantic, to persuade the persuaded leaders of Britain and Spain to stand firm with him. I guess the North Pole wasn't available. I've been to the Azores. It was with Secretary of State James Baker on, as I recall, one of his seven trips around the world to build support for Gulf War I. Mr. Baker used the Azores to refuel.

Friedman's position has always been ridiculous - that Bush wasn't going to war for the same reason/desired outcome that Friedman was, but nonetheless going to war was a good thing. The annoying thing is - aside from the fact that a couple bits of evidence have been determined to be crap, there really isn't any new information out there to change minds on this one. Friedman never really bought into the "Saddam is a danger to the U.S." crap - he just was dreaming of Iraq-the-shining-beacon-of Democracy crap. I just think the cognitive dissonance became too much.