16 June 2007

Greenwald vs Freidman

Glenn Greenwald is a strong, brave man.
I spent the day yesterday and today reading every Tom Friedman column beginning in mid-2002 through the present regarding Iraq. That body of work is extraordinary.
Greenwald reports that Friedman has had a consistent position on the war in Iraq. Consistent as in repeatedly stated, that is—not consistent as in logical.
Put another way, these are the premises which Friedman, prior to the invasion, expressly embraced:
  1. If the war is done the right way, great benefits can be achieved.
  2. If the war is done the wrong way, unimaginable disasters will result.
  3. The Bush administration is doing this war the wrong way, not the right way, on every level.
  4. Given all of that, I support the waging of this war.
Just ponder that: Tom Friedman supported the invasion of Iraq even though, by his own reasoning, that war was being done the “wrong way” and would thus—also by his own reasoning—create nothing but untold damage on every level. And he did so all because there was some imaginary, hypothetical, fantasy way of doing the war that Friedman thought was good, but that he knew isn't what we would get.
Greenwald says that there's more at stake here than logic.
To support a war that you know is going to be executed in a destructive manner is as morally monstrous as it gets. The fact that there is some idealized, Platonic way to fight the war doesn't make that any better if you know that that isn't what is going to happen. We learn in adolescence that wanting things that we can't have—pining for things that aren't real or possible—is futile and irrational. To apply that adolescent fantasy world to war advocacy is the hallmark of a deeply frivolous and amoral person.
Greenwald then goes on to argue that this kind of reasoning remains endemic to pundits and politicians.
Establishment Washington is concerned right now with only one thing—saving their own credibility and reputation .... the Washington Establishment still thinks that those who opposed the war from the beginning don't count, that they're still the unserious, know-nothing losers who should be ignored.
Greenwald lays all of this out with his usual lucidity.

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