Via Glenn Greenwald, Tom Friedman ruminates on the strategic rationale for the
Great Mesopotamian Quagmire Near Eastern War of Democratic Liberation:
Friedman's astonishingly puerile and uncouth exposition features a choice piece of verbal legerdemain, which begins with a mention of the Open Society and our willingness to defend it, and concludes with a vulgar peroration, which has American servicemen (and women, of course, for one mark of our civilizational superiority is that we send our women to bleed and die in our wars) going door to door between "Basra and Baghdad", telling anyone who might oppose the Open Society to "Suck on this." I mentioned a piece of legerdemain, by which I mean an unthinking attempt at esotericism. Friedman, of course, commences by discussing the Open Society, and then avers that no border controls, no clever INS officials - in summation, no declensions from the (utopian) conceit of the Open Society - could possibly suffice to protect us from further terrorist assaults, leaving as the inevitable conclusion the imperative of converting the recalcitrant of the world to our visions of global order. But, of course, this standard line is a farrago of nonsense. The firm proscription of certain Islamic doctrines, the cessation of Muslim immigration, beginning with the abolition of the Visa Express programme and student visas for nationals of countries which contribute disproportionately to the jihad, and rising to the encouragement of Muslim emigration from the West, would, over time, mitigate the threat of jihad, and all without the perceived imperative of wars of (democratic capitalist) imperial conquest. What, therefore, Friedman really means is that we cannot maintain simultaneously the Open Society and measures inhibiting the social and economic intercourse of the Western and Muslim worlds; we can undertake either, but not both, and, inasmuch as the latter is simply unthinkable - a form of apostasy, in reality - we must opt for the former by means of war. The exoteric rationale is that we cannot defeat "terror" save by waging wars of "liberation"; the esoteric reality is that our elites cannot preserve the politico-economic articulation of their class interests save by waging wars of "liberation".
Glenn Greenwald takes Friedman's utter self-delusion, his incomprehension at negative global perceptions of the U.S., and nails it to the wall:
If there were a powerful nation (besides the U.S.) that had a leading foreign policy analyst unapologetically justifying the brutal destruction of another country by explaining that its citizens needed to "Suck On This," and had a leading presidential candidate who sung songs about dropping bombs on the U.S. and who told jokes about killing Americans (while his leading ally demands that that country attack even more countries), we would be subjected to an endless array of Op-Eds from Fred Hiatt and Charles Krauthammer condemning them and demanding that "meaningful action" be taken against such a "rogue nation." And Tom Friedman would be righteously and darkly insisting that such a country be "compelled to change its behavior."
In light of that, just ponder the self-delusion required for Tom "Suck-On-This" Friedman and the political establishment he leads to express befuddlement -- confusion -- over our extreme unpopularity in the world over the last seven years. How would a rational person expect our country to be perceived when the face we present to the world is the face that appears on that grotesque You Tube clip -- the same face that, to this day, giddily boasts that "sometimes it takes a 2-by-4 across the side of the head" to get our message across and that we need high-ranking foreign policy officials "quietly pounding a baseball bat into his palm"? When it comes to violent behavior that is disruptive to the world order and threatening to people around the world, what has a two-bit dictator like Robert Mugabe done -- what could he ever do -- that can even compete with the savagery that George Bush has unleashed, that Tom Friedman has justified, and that John McCain jovially threatens?