Friday, August 24, 2007

Suck On This

The significance of Friedman's "Suck On This" isn't simply his buffoonery and that of our entire media discourse. I don't imagine that Charlie Rose is playing on every teevee in Iraq, but even the liberal Tom Friedman was channeling what was a pretty common sentiment at the time, and one which he had expressed in one way or another in even the liberal New York Times. In Little Tommy's flat world, such sentiments cross borders and can be picked up by people in other countries. Amazing, I know. And, so, Iraqis and other people in Middle East can jump to the shocking conclusion (one might call it a "conspiracy theory!") that maybe we didn't go to Iraq to topple Saddam, or for our security, or weapons of mass destruction, or for humanitarian reasons. We went to Iraq, as the very serious Tom Friedman put it, to go door to door and bust the heads of some Iraqis because a bunch of Saudis had flown planes into buildings about 18 months before that. Now if this cunning plan doesn't make much sense to you, or at the very least you perceive that it might contain the seeds of its own undoing, it's because you lack the Mustache of Understanding which gives you the insights necessary to spend a full hour with Charlie Rose or write two columns a week for the very serious New York Times.

For those of us who were alive during the glorious 2002 summer of war, this was essentially the conservative blogosphere's reason for going to war, before we all got distracted trying to chase down and refute the reams of bullshit coming out of the White House about weapons and al Qaeda connections and blah blah blah. I believe Steven de Beste wrote a 3 million word essay, linked to and praised by everyone, which could've been shortened to "We need to tell them to suck on this."

No one could have predicted that this was a bad idea! No one could have predicted that arming multiple sides in sectarian conflict could have negative consequences! No one could have predicted that a government hiding in the US controlled green zone might lack legitimacy!

Though, truly, no one could have predicted that the president would find solace in historical parallels to Vietnam.