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Friedmanesque

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Huh. I never had this problem:

When I was a younger lad man, there was no one around to tell me that Tom Friedman was an utter buffoon.

I was in Seattle in 1999, and I remember reading Friedman on the demonstrations. He was careful to interpret every event in a manner most sympathetic to conservatives and least sympathetic to demostrators. Every critic, he suggested, was either stupid and misguided or beholden to parochial interest; no pragmatic or principled objection was entertained.

Strangely enough, America’s Stupidest Pundit repeated this performance in the run-up to the Iraq War. Unfortunately, common wisdom was somewhat divided, so Tommy had to play both sides. A week before the attack he was for; then he was against. In the illusory aftermath of victory he was for, again. Then, he started spouting Friedman units.

If I could have identified a “least useful” pundit in the run-up to the Iraq War, I would have said Tom Friedman. Those expectations have not been disappointed,, except in the definition of the Friedman Unit, which I suppose he should receieve some extraordinarily mild credit for. Nevertheless, to the extent that one is to be guided bu the foreign policy punditry of Tom Friedman, one is best instructed by the following three axioms;

1. Don’t read Tom Friedman.

2. If you accidentally read Tom Friedman, the opposite of what he suggests is, most likely, the clearest road to success.

3. That is all

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