Wednesday, March 20, 2013

More Thomas Friedman Post-Iraq Happy Talk

Amidst the veritable cornucopia of ten-years-after Iraq invasion retrospectives, Thomas Friedman of course has to weigh in.  In contrast to the "suck on this" tough-guyism that characterized his pre-war cheerleading, he's become more sweetness and light, especially as he warbles about the Iraqi university students who, in his take (based on his reading of a Financial Times piece by the much more sensible Roula Khalaf), care not about Sunni vs Shi'a.  Indeed, that's a sign that we may indeed hope for a brighter future for Iraqis.

But when TF writes of America's having contributed to that bright future by helping the Iraqis write a democratic constitution . . . well, that's a stretch.  I can't begin to count the number of observers who have made the point: that constitution, the writing of which was guided so much by US hands, essentially cemented in place a sectarian quota-bound parliamentary system - and division - that has kept Iraqis from building the "Iraqiness" that they so need if the country is to prosper, even survive as a unitary state.

I suspect that until the day he dies, Thomas Friedman will try to find ways to look back on his vile cheerleading of 2002 and 2003 and feel able to say, "there, there, I wasn't so bad.  It all worked out - and I helped make it happen."

Good luck with that, TF.  Don't hold your breath.

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