OH, HELLO. Here's some good news, after years and years of promoting the necessary destruction of Iraq and Iraqis, all for the purpose of a war that diverted the United States from pressing issues of national security, Tom Friedman has declared the Iraq misadventure to be a success and has officially sent the Iraqi people toddling off into an uncertain future. "It's Up To Iraqis Now. Good Luck", Friedman says. Yep! Things will be perfect from now on!
But lest we get too caught up in the sideline issues of what was done to Iraq, attention must be paid to the pressing matter at hand, which is that Friedman has, at last, forgiven himself.
Former President George W. Bush's gut instinct that this region craved and needed democracy was always right. It should have and could have been pursued with much better planning and execution. This war has been extraordinarily painful and costly. But democracy was never going to have a virgin birth in a place like Iraq, which has never known any such thing.
Some argue that nothing that happens in Iraq will ever justify the costs. Historians will sort that out. Personally, at this stage, I only care about one thing: that the outcome in Iraq be positive enough and forward-looking enough that those who have actually paid the price -- in lost loved ones or injured bodies, in broken homes or broken lives, be they Iraqis or Americans or Brits -- see Iraq evolve into something that will enable them to say that whatever the cost, it has given freedom and decent government to people who had none.
That, though, will depend on Iraqis and their leaders.
And how did these "Iraqis and their leaders" come to be so burdened? I'm sure it must have been through an unforeseeable series of cosmic coincidences!
Meanwhile, as Glenn Greenwald points out, Friedman's noble, karma-cleansing rhetoric sounds a wee bit different in tone, compared to his Previous Stages Of Caring. At one point, this was what was important to Friedman:
FRIEDMAN: What they needed to see was American boys and girls going from house to house, from Basra to Baghdad and basically saying, "Which part of this sentence don't you understand. You don't think that we care about our open society? You think this [terrorism] bubble fantasy, we're just going to let it grow? Well, suck on this."
Yes. That's Tom Friedman, talking about the need to "burst" the "terrorism bubble" that led to the September 11th attacks. Naturally, what eludes Friedman -- to this day! -- was that the residents in those houses from Basra to Baghdad were no more responsible for the September 11th attacks than the people who live in houses from Milwaukee to Minnetonka.
But look, nobody promised the Iraqis a "virgin birth" of democracy, which I suppose is inferable from the forced-sodomy metaphor. Still, to Friedman, "positive" and "forward-looking" outcomes are available to those who were made to "suck on this," so if the Iraqi people are good enough to claim these great gifts, Tom Friedman is happy to say, "You're welcome."
Official dogma: Iraq War a success [Glenn Greenwald]