Posted by: sean | December 22, 2011

Friedman on collaborating with Iraqis

Thomas “the ‘stache” Friedman in the Times yesterday:

Iraq was always a war of choice. As I never bought the argument that Saddam had nukes that had to be taken out, the decision to go to war stemmed, for me, from a different choice: Could we collaborate with the people of Iraq to change the political trajectory of this pivotal state in the heart of the Arab world and help tilt it and the region onto a democratizing track?

And here he is talking about what it looks like when we “collaborate with the people of Iraq” with Charlie Rose back in May of 2003:

What [Iraqis] needed to see was American boys, and girls, going house to house from Basra to Baghdad. Umm, and basically saying, “Which part of this sentence don’t you understand? You don’t think, you know, we care about our open society? You think this bubble fantasy, we’re just going to let it grow? Well: Suck. On. This.” Ok. That, Charlie, was what this war was about. We could have hit Saudi Arabia; it was part of that bubble. We could have hit Pakistan. We hit Iraq because we could. That’s the real truth.


  1. What does it take for someone who writes about the Levant to actually write criticism of some of the egregious things that occur there… the ones that have nothing to do with the west or Israel? Would it take a PA sponsored children’s magazine saying in a story:
    I turned to the next door; there Hitler awaited me. I said, ‘You’re the one who killed the Jews?’
    He [Hitler] said: ‘Yes. I killed them so you would all know that they are a nation which spreads destruction all over the world. And what I ask of you is to be resilient and patient, concerning the suffering that Palestine is experiencing at their hands.’
    I said [to Hitler]: ‘Thanks for the advice.’
    Would it take thousands dying in Syria? Rockets fired at civilians? The assassination of an elected leader by a party that now holds power? The prevention of Israelis and Palestinians talking as official policy? The killing and intimidation of Christians in various countries? The democratic election of Islamist parties?
    Where does the fetishization and romanticism of Arabs stop (since it is actually a form of bigotry) and actual criticism that matters begin. Is this really the most important story about the middle east right now? Or have you been waiting for a white person to rail against?

  2. Who is this Nate character? Why is there always one deranged Zionist on every single blog that is critical of Israel?

    Get a life you loser!

  3. “Where does the fetishization and romanticism of Arabs stop”

    Thank you for posting this, Nate. You are a great ambassador for Zionism. Every curious visitor to this blog and others like it will witness the delusion, racism, and mendacity of Zionist logic.

  4. Not exactly a well thought out argument, Frum, but thank you. I’d love to know what aspect of anything I’ve written is wrong… or what it is about Zionism that is inherently racist, mendacious or delusional… loser.

  5. Arabs (both Christian and Muslim) have been massacred and oppressed consistently in the middle east over the past few years, and yet there seems to be no compulsion to speak out unless the perpetrators are Israeli or western. There are no greater victims of this bigoted obsession than the vast majority of Arab (and Persian) victims who die by Muslim hands, but who’s deaths, if I could paraphrase one of our great thinkers, took place at the wrong place – or in the wrong hands.

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