This morning I woke up to one of the most shockingly delusional Friedman op-eds to date. Self-righteous Thomas Friedman astonishingly writes,
Yes, after two decades in which U.S. foreign policy has been largely dedicated to rescuing Muslims or trying to help free them from tyranny — in Bosnia, Darfur, Kuwait, Somalia, Lebanon, Kurdistan, post-earthquake Pakistan, post-tsunami Indonesia, Iraq and Afghanistan — a narrative that says America is dedicated to keeping Muslims down is thriving. [Emphasis added]
I would agree that there are in fact voices in the Muslim world that misinterpret U.S. attacks on Arab and Muslim countries resulting in countless civilian collateral damage as being a willful attempt to keep “Muslims down”. But to go from there and argue with a straight face that the opposite – that U.S. foreign policy has as its principal goal to rescue Muslims by bombing them – is a narrative that is credible only to a select few in the U.S. with their heads in the sand. Meanwhile the entire rest of the world sees U.S. foreign policy — like the foreign policy of any other nation — as was it is: based purely on self-interest and never on an honest desire towards altruism or rescuing others. Only the politicians with the help of their “front-men pundits” sell altruism to the naïve as a ruse to do as one pleases. Who you trying to fool, Mr. Friedman?
But once again, I will have to defer to Mr. Greenwald who beat me to the punch on Friedman’s grotesque hypocrisy,
Tom Friedman can declare with a straight face that “anyone who shoots up innocent people is … mentally imbalanced” without seeing how clearly that applies to himself and those who think like he does. It’s that self-absorbed disconnect — seeing Hasan’s murder of American soldiers as an act of consummate evil and sickness while refusing to see our own acts in a similar light — that shapes most of our warped political discourse. And note the morality on display here: Hasan attacks soldiers on a military base of a country that has spent the last decade screaming to the world that “we’re at war!!,” and that’s a deranged and evil act, while Friedman cheers for an unprovoked war that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians and displaced millions more — all justified by sick power fantasies, lame Mafia dialogue, and cravings more appropriate for a porno film than a civilized foreign policy — and he’s the arbiter of Western reason and sanity.
But even worse is the glaring dishonesty driving everything Friedman writes here. Our perpetual war cheerleader today laments that there is a “Narrative” plaguing the Muslim world that is a “cocktail of half-truths, propaganda and outright lies about America.” These crazy, stupid, irrational Muslims seem to believe “that America has declared war on Islam, as part of a grand ‘American-Crusader-Zionist conspiracy’ to keep Muslims down,” when the reality is that “U.S. foreign policy has been largely dedicated to rescuing Muslims or trying to help free them from tyranny.” They see devastating attacks launched by the U.S. and Israel collectively on six Muslim countries in the last decade (including Gaza) — all of which Friedman (along with his fellow Muslim-condemning NYT colleague) supported, naturally — and those Muslims simply refuse to understand why they deserved it and why it was all for their own Good. According to Friedman, these benighted Muslims simply refuse to see the truth: that our two post-9/11 wars were “primarily to destroy two tyrannical regimes — the Taliban and the Baathists — and to work with Afghans and Iraqis to build a different kind of politics.”