Fat Steve's Blatherings

Monday, February 21, 2005

The Case of Thomas L. Friedman

      Thomas Friedman remains one of the most intriguing, tragic figures of the mainstream media.

      Last Thursday, he published a column titled 'Hama Rules', reminding everyone of just what the Syrian Ba'athist dictatorship does when challenged: it kills all possible opponents, indiscriminately.

      Friedman makes it clear just how murderous the Syrians are, he says the Syrians probably murdered Rafik Hariri, he says the Syrians will defy the U.S. and Europe because they don't think anyone will have the will and ability to crush them, and then he says the Lebanese, in order to be free of Syrian occupation, must demonstrate in the streets against Syria.

      And what, Mr. Friedman, will stop the Syrians from murdering the demonstrators to keep control?  The question isn't even considered.

      Yesterday, Friedman had a column saying that this is the "Baghdad Spring."  Like the "Prague Spring" of 1968, I guess -- the one the now deceased Soviet Union suppressed with tanks (OOH!  I just LOVE typing "now deceased Soviet Union!").

      The only conclusion I can get draw from his remarks is that sooner or later, there will be civil wars and ferocious anti-democratic repression in the Arab world.  What then?  The Europeans will surely stand aside, letting the dictators do as they will to the people.  Does he want the U.S. to do something?  He can't bring himself to say.

      Friedman's head appears to be telling him that the only way to reform the Near East is with force.  His gut appears to be telling him that force is intolerable.  Too bad he can't figure out what he believes.



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