That’s what Thomas Friedman gave as the reason for our invasion of countries in the Middle East in his much ballyhooed interview with Charlie Rose several years ago. (The clip above.) It seems however that Friedman either forgot his bravado laced interview or considers it insignificant when writing his latest Mid East pronouncements, which appear here. In this latest tripe Friedman passes for an editorial (can you believe he gets P-A-I-D for writing this stuff?!) Friedman talks about the “narrative” and describes it thusly
The Narrative is the cocktail of half-truths, propaganda and outright lies about America that have taken hold in the Arab-Muslim world since 9/11. Propagated by jihadist Web sites, mosque preachers, Arab intellectuals, satellite news stations and books — and tacitly endorsed by some Arab regimes — this narrative posits that America has declared war on Islam, as part of a grand “American-Crusader-Zionist conspiracy” to keep Muslims down.
Friedman forgot to mention himself as one who promotes the “narrative”; even by his own accounts we invaded Muslim countries and killed scores of innocence not for any grand or noble political designs for us, Americans, or for them, the citizens of those countries, but rather we reaped all of that havoc ‘because we could’ and to get them to Suck. On. This. That mentality is what drove the pornographic rage that we’ve only seen snippets of that took place in Abu Ghraib. (I’m sure all the citizens of Iraq, and some other Muslim countries too, have heard all of the stories our democracy has said we here in America aren’t eligible to hear or know about.) Friedman mentions Abu Ghraib, but only in passing, in the midst of extolling all the good things American soldiers did or are doing in Iraq as occupiers mind you of a country that initially was no threat to the vital interests of the US or her allies. While chiding “jihadists” for ignoring the latter, Friedman did himself and his article a disservice but doing the same with the former.
As usual, Glen Greenwald does a pretty good job of dismantling the Friedman fantasy/hypocrisy. Among his zingers to Friedman’s piece are lines like these
And note the morality on display here: Hasan attacks soldiers on a military base of a country that has spent the last decade screaming to the world that “we’re at war!!,” and that’s a deranged and evil act, while Friedman cheers for an unprovoked war that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians and displaced millions more — all justified by sick power fantasies, lame Mafia dialogue and cravings more appropriate for a porno film than a civilized foreign policy — and he’s the arbiter of Western reason and sanity.
That’s only one of several well placed punches to Friedman’s devilishly childish arguments in his latest op-ed. Steven Walt of the infamous Walt-Mearsheimer duo which brought the world the book, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, and brought upon themselves an undeserved ignominy, weighed in on Friedman’s article as well with less than sterling results, in my opinion, because of his emphasis on “numbers” of casualties amassed to make the case for why “they” hate us. The comments section of his article is why his article lacks the strength of moral certainty to oppose Friedman’s op-ed. Simply put people don’t care about the whys and wherefores these days and using that argument about why Muslims hate us without mentioning that we launched a war of aggression against them based on lies that our government made and upheld in order to invade and total decimate their culture, and that we continue to justify our occupation based on these debunked lies is disingenuous, in this writer’s estimation. Walt is an academic so perhaps that’s why he relied so heavily on numbers in his “refutation” of Friedman’s article, but in so doing he let Friedman off the hook for his, Friedman’s, obscene insistence for war and his cheerleading for it when he knew ostensibly that he was lying. If Walt had simply said that, any claim to legitimacy on the part of Friedman, would have been irrevocably lost.
Friedman is an apologist for wars of aggression and he wants the victims of such wars to engage him in semantic pedantry which is why he issues this weak call out at the end of his article. It’s a waste of time for him to issue it and even more a waste of time for others to answer it. What Mr. Friedman needs to be reminded of is the importance of ‘the rule of law’, something he nor any of his supporters really had a handle on for the last 10 years. Friedman is the newspaper world’s hate radio pundits; not much substance and a lot of hot air. His bias and hatred for the people he generally writes about borders on the sophomoric, not at all worthy of the New York Times, or if you insist that it is, then both are not news that’s fit to be printed. May I suggest citizenship journalism instead?