Saturday, March 08, 2003

Thomas Friedman's latest column is the closest he has come to jumping the liberal hawk fence. It's a good one, except for one graph:
The world does not want to be led by transparent cynics like the French foreign minister and his boss. But it also does not want to be led by an America whose Congress is so traumatized by 9/11 that it can't think straight and by a president ideologically committed to war in Iraq no matter what the costs, the support, or the prospects for a decent aftermath. But, France aside, the world is still ready to be led by an America that's a little more humble, a little better listener and a little more ready to say to its allies: how can we work this out? How much time do we need to give you to see if inspections can work for you to endorse the use of force if they don't?
Admittedly France has cynical reasons for its particular foreign policy positions. But so do Britain and America. Or does Friedman really believe we are about to engage in this war only for the purest of motives? You don't have to believe that it is all about oil in order to believe that oil is a part of it. Please explain to me how France's position of a few months back is any different than what Friedman's is right now. Perhaps they just didn't take as long to realize that Bush was not the one to lead the world in this fight. Perhaps this says less about France's cynical self-serving approach than it does about Friedman's overwhelming naivete when it comes to Bush's push for war. Still, all in all, there is a glimmer of hope in this column. Come on over to this side of the fence Tom. We're really friendly here and we promise not to rib you, much, about placing your trust in Dubya..


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