On Thursday there will be a regional conference in Egypt to discuss stabilizing Iraq, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will represent the U.S. President Bush should go instead and give this speech:
I want to take this opportunity to speak to the Arab and Muslim nations gathered here today and to the world at large. I begin with a simple message: I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I rushed into the invasion of Iraq. I honestly believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. I was wrong, and I now realize that in unilaterally launching the war the way I did, you all feel that I breached a bond of trust between America and the world. Not only did that alienate you from us, it made us less effective in Iraq. We had too few allies and too little legitimacy. I apologize — sincerely.
I’m most sorry, though, because my bungling of the war has prompted all of us to take our eye off the ball. I messed up the treatment so badly that people have forgotten the patient really does have a disease. Now that I’ve apologized, I hope you will stop fixating on me and look closely at what is happening in your backyard: the forces and pathologies that brought us 9/11 are still there and multiplying.
That’s only an excerpt by the way. Friedman’s entire column, other than that first paragraph above, consists of his imaginary Bush apology about Iraq. Though, perhaps its better to say it’s really Friedman’s own disguised apologia for having supported Bush’s misadventure in Iraq. Because, and let’s be fair here, even someone as clueless as Mr. Friedman knows that Bush doesn’t take advice. He’s a decider, remember.
But assuming, for the moment, that Tom Friedman is serious (and not just seriously deluded), what exactly does he think Bush should say to the world, other than mouthing a multitude of mea culpas for his idiotic decision to invade Iraq in the first place? Well, like Bush, Friedman still believes Iraq is the central front in the War on Terror. What’s more, Friedman thinks Bush should make the case to our Arab allies, to Europe and to Russia and China that they better help us fight Al Qaida over there, because otherwise bad things will happen — to them!
You may think that I’m more dangerous than Bin Laden and that a strong America is more dangerous than Al Qaeda. You’re wrong. If we are defeated in Iraq, they’ll come after you. They already are. And if we’re defeated in Iraq, you’ll no longer have to contend with a world of too much American power. You’ll have to contend with a world of too little American power. You will not like it.
That’s right. Tom Friedman, master of the universe and billionaire sage (thanks to his wife’s inheritance) thinks it would be a good idea if Bush gave his standard scary stump speech, not just to gullible audiences of Republican Kool Aid drinkers, but to a bunch of foreign diplomats and world leaders. Because they apparently haven’t heard this particular talking point from Bush before. Or they have, but they’ll all stand up and salute it if Bush is really, really humble when he proclaims it for the ten thousandth time.
Do you know the definition of the word supercilious, Mr. Friedman? Or the word twit? I sure hope so, because I wouldn’t want to waste a good insult when I say that you are by far the most supercilious twit I’ve ever seen in print (with apologies to David Broder). You may consider yourself an eminence grise among the elite political intelligentsia of this country, but to me you are simply an embarrassment.
So, Tom, here’s some advice from me. Next time you wish to dispense some free advice, do it in the privacy of your own bathroom while sitting on your very own porcelain throne. It’s a far better repository for dumb shit you pull out of your ass than the Op-ed page of The New York Times.