Like Failing the Fifth Grade – 25 Times in a Row

From Holden:

Today Tom Friedman reminds us that he has been writing about the Middle East for 25 years, and based on his quarter-century of experience he offers us this expert opionion:

I totally disagree with those who argue that the Jan. 30 Iraqi elections should be postponed. Their main argument is that an Iraqi election that ensconces the Shiite majority in power, without any participation of the Sunni minority, will sow the seeds of civil war.

That is probably true – but we are already in a civil war in Iraq. That civil war was started by the Sunni Baathists, and their Islamist fascist allies from around the region, the minute the U.S. toppled Saddam. And they started that war not because they felt the Iraqi elections were going to be rigged, but because they knew they weren’t going to be rigged.

Yep, there are 25 years of writing behind those five sentences. Let’s see what I can do with them after less than a year of blogging.

[The] main argument [of those who say the election should be postponed] is that an Iraqi election that ensconces the Shiite majority in power, without any participation of the Sunni minority, will sow the seeds of civil war.

No Tom, the main argument of those who say the election should be postponed is that it is so fucking dangerous in Iraq today that roughly half the population will be unable to vote on Jan. 30. The fact that the country is so dangerous today is a direct result of the Bush administration’s failure to come up with any plan to stabilize the Iraq after the illegal invasion had been achieved.

Yes, Sunni leaders also oppose holding the election on Jan. 30 because it is primarily the Sunni regions of Iraq that are the most dangerous. But the last time I checked Mosul, one of the most dangerous cities in Iraq today and one that will certainly be insecure on Jan. 30, is in the predominantly Kurdish portion of Northern Iraq.

That civil war was started by the Sunni Baathists, and their Islamist fascist allies from around the region, the minute the U.S. toppled Saddam.

Friedman seems to have misplaced both his history book and his dictionary today. The Sunni Baathists and “Islamist fascists” (why not go whole hog and call them Islamofascists, Tom?) did not start a civil war when the U. S. invaded. They, as well as many Shiites (have we forgotten the Mahdi Army already?) fought back against a western power that invaded their sovereign country.

The illegal U.S. invasion gave rise to an insurgency that continues to this day, an insurgency that has been fed by permissive rules of engagement that place no value on the lives of Iraqi civilians, the false imprisonment of Iraqis, and their subsequent torture at Abu Ghraib. This insurgency continues to attack both the occupying U.S. forces as well as those Iraqis they view as colaborators with the occupying power. A true civil war has yet to occur.

And they started that war not because they felt the Iraqi elections were going to be rigged, but because they knew they weren’t going to be rigged.

Wrong again, the insurgency began when the U.S. invaded Iraq, as Friedman himself noted in the prior sentence. Elections were nothing but a vague promise at the time.

So, are Tom Friedman’s 25 years of experience writing about the Middle East of any value whatsoever? Well, we can use his words, with a few changes, to support the only positive step the U.S. can take in Iraq at this point.

I totally disagree with those who argue that we should “stay the course” in Iraq. Their main argument is that the removal of U.S. forces from the country will sow the seeds of civil war.

That is probably true – but we are already experiencing massive bloodshed and suffering in Iraq. This massive bloodshed and suffering was started by the Neocon Bushits, and their propagandists in the press like Tom Friedman, the minute the U.S. toppled Saddam. And they started that war not because they felt that non-existent Iraqi WMDs were a threat to the U.S., or because they longed for democracy in the Middle East, but because they want to control Iraq’s oil and because war gives them a hard-on.

There, Friedman does serve some purpose afterall.