Today, Friday, November 3rd, Tom Friedman had a column in the New York Times advising readers to vote against the administration. Has Friedman finally come around after his initial fervent support of the war in Iraq?
The column is behind the Times firewall, so Spot can't link to it, but here's the core of Friedman's reasoning in telling us to throw the Republicans out:
Let Karl [Rove] know that you’re not stupid. Let him know that you know that the most patriotic thing to do in this election is to vote against an administration that has — through sheer incompetence — brought us to a point in Iraq that was not inevitable but is now unwinnable.
Let Karl know that you think this is a critical election, because you know as a citizen that if the Bush team can behave with the level of deadly incompetence it has exhibited in Iraq — and then get away with it by holding on to the House and the Senate — it means our country has become a banana republic. It means our democracy is in tatters because it is so gerrymandered, so polluted by money, and so divided by professional political hacks that we can no longer hold the ruling party to account.
Shorter Friedman: We would have won this thing if we had done it right.
This is the guy who wrote the same paean to globalization more than a couple of times, just with different titles. In other words, when he gets an idea in his head, he has a lot of trouble letting go of it.
The idea that we were headed for anywhere but ignominy and oblivion on this escapade from the get-go is fantasy, dangerous fantasy. The idea that we could "make" the Iraqis into Jeffersonian democrats is so loony and delusional that it must be identified as the genesis of the problem.
Friedman is trying to salve his conscience by saying that the administration is merely an unworthy steward of his vision. But it was the basic idea of invading Iraq in the first place that contained the seeds of our disgrace. And Friedman has to accept his share of the blame for that.