Thursday, March 18, 2004

Thomas Friedman and The Axis of Ignorance

There are so many idiotic assumptions in today's Thomas Friedman column that it would take days to catalogue them all but here goes a few.

1) The people who are resisting the US occupation of Iraq are all "Islamist" terrorists. Even the US military doesn't claim this. They (the US military) usually say that the resistance is a mixed bag of ex-Bathists, Arab nationalists from all over the world and jihadis. This line of argument helps perpetuate the clever propagandist trick of the war party conflating the "war o' terror" with the invasion and occupation of Iraq. This helps Bush by the way, someone Friedman tries to seem highly critical of, in his re-election effort which depends on this trick by claiming that he is fighting in Iraq because of what happened on 9/11. From the beginning many correctly argued that an invasion of Iraq would make us all more unsafe because all sorts of people would be angered by such a clear imperial adventure. Spain clearly proves this.

2) There are not enough troops in Iraq! This is the way that Kerry and company, the doves, are trying to show that they are tough. No, actually one is too many troops in Iraq and if there were 200 or 300,000 troops there would be even more targets for the people who are resisting the occupation. The US has pulled back its troops from the streets and tried Iraqiazation because they were such easy targets. More troops, more death in Iraq! Kerry-Friedman 2004 should try this one out in a focus group.

3) We (the US I presume) don't have enough allies in the war on Iraq/terror? because of the bumbling of Donald Rumsfeld and the Bush administration. No, the reason we don't have any significant allies (excluding the Brits, sorry Latvia) in Iraq is because the people of the world were overwhelmingly against the war and their governments resisted the significant diplomatic pressure by the Bushies because they were doing their jobs as representatives of the people. If we would have waited longer in the run up to the war the truth would have come out (there were no WMD, terrorist ties), like many opposed to the war argued, and the US would have had fewer allies. Just as they will have fewer the longer they occupy "Mess-o-potamia" (John Stewart).

4) "Spain (his use of the phrase) is going to do something crazy" by withdrawing their troops from Iraq. No, actually the US is doing something crazy that will endanger its citizens by occupying Iraq, supporting Israel, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and many other repressive regimes and putting military bases in just about every country in the world so they can interfere in people's business. The Spaniards are actually the sane one's Tom.

5) If the Bush administration dispenses with its argument for the war, WMD, people will then support the occupation. Four countries have already expressed their desire to leave Iraq, Spain, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala not because of terrorism but because their populations are against it and the political costs are too high. The invasion and occupation was against the UN Charter, unnecessary, and just plain wrong. Unfortunately the US can do what they want these days and the US population can easily be convinced of just about anything.

6) Thomas Friedman is a running dog of imperialism.

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