Wednesday, June 15, 2005

What this Liberal Sees…



..when he looks at Iraq.

Tom Friedman has well and truly surpassed himself.

Just when you think Captain Obvious could not possibly crawl any further up into his own puffy little butt, he manages to scramble up those last, few inches and burst through into an entirely new, “Being John Malkovich” kind of alternate Friedman-iverse, populated exclusively by LSD-scalded dolts stagger in tiny circle, jabbering incessantly about how amazing their hands look, and how amazing the air is, and have you ever noticed how amazing my shoes look as they go flippy-flop, flippy-flop ‘round and ‘round and ‘round.?

You meet these kinds of blown-out stoners wandering in the parks sometimes, or cadging transfers in the cool, dank stairwells of CTA stops. Pupils as big as manhole covers. Hair that’s become a free-range ecosystem for lice and roaches and ringworms.

What I usually do is give them some change and steer way the hell around them.

What I do not do is let them write for the New York Fucking Times.

Friedman has already been righteously and rightfully beaten down as the leading-edge of the execrable Apologist Wedge by Atrios, Gilliard, and god knows who all else, so I will keep this short. Ok, short-ish.

Here’s a tiny sip of the rancid stew:


By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: June 15, 2005

Ever since Iraq's remarkable election, the country has been descending deeper and deeper into violence. But no one in Washington wants to talk about it. Conservatives don't want to talk about it because, with a few exceptions, they think their job is just to applaud whatever the Bush team does. Liberals don't want to talk about Iraq because, with a few exceptions, they thought the war was wrong and deep down don't want the Bush team to succeed. As a result, Iraq is drifting sideways and the whole burden is being carried by our military. The rest of the country has gone shopping, which seems to suit Karl Rove just fine.

First, Captain Obvious has again renewed his wretched subscription to the despicable and now, really, outright treasonable world-view that

A) No one is talking about Iraq. Which is such an nakedly demented lie that one must wonder if Tommy-boy has, at last, just lost his mind. As I sat at Wrigley field last week, in a park packed to capacity with highly-focused and well-informed Cubs and BoSox fans, at no point did I ever feel compelled to lean over to my fiends and remark -- shouting over the noise – that it was sure a pity the no one wanted to talk about baseball.

Had I done so, my friends (being my friends) would have, have cut off my beer, gotten me out of the hot sun and into an ER immediately. We’ll immediate…after the ninth inning, but they would have been very concerned.

What they wouldn’t have done is give me a column in the New York Fucking Times.

B) The Universe is carefully divided into Conservatives – who are wrong – and Liberals – who are somehow, mysteriously and equally wrong all the time and in equal numbers on every issue. And only Captain Obvious, frolicking across the few lonely yards of sand on his Isle of Reasonableness, can see the truth.

It does not matter how many millions of miles the Shining Path Republicans drag the “middle ground” to the Right.

It doesn’t matter that the Party of Lincoln is now infested crotch-to-crown with maggoty Segregationists.

It doesn’t matter that Nixon looks like a fucking Socialist compared to the positions now being advocated by the GOP today.

However far into the Armageddonist Abyss the wingnuts charge, Captain Obvious will dutifully pace off half that distance back towards where the Left (the band formerly know as “Rockefeller Republicans”) happened to be that day, drive his little stake into that shifting ground and declare that THIS is where the treasure of Comity and Reasonableness is buried. And that everyone on either side of his little islet is equally and oppositely wrong.

And then stamp his chubby little feet and whine that No One Is Listening to Him!

What a lazy pint of watery poo he is, and if that were all he is, that would be bad enough, but with his second absurd “indictment -- "Liberals don't want to talk about Iraq because, with a few exceptions, they thought the war was wrong and deep down don't want the Bush team to succeed.” – he definitively crosses the line into outright treachery.

So you want to know how this Liberal views Iraq?

Take a look at the sickening image that came roaring out of our collective unconscious and onto our televisions on 9/11: a human being confronted with two choices too terrible to contemplate -- leap into oblivion or be roasted alive.

And once in the air, whatever intentions or dreams or hopes or beliefs this poor bastard might have had became irrelevant. Flapping their arms didn’t matter. Prayer didn’t matter.

Once in the air, the Cold Equations were all that mattered. Once in the air, my fellow human being became a physics demonstration; an object on a downward arc governed by the Laws of Science that the Republicans hate so very much.

That, you despicable little stooge, is EXACTLY how Iraq looks to me.

On the heels of our greatest modern national trauma, the President and his minions shrieked and bellowed, roared and raged that there was a conflagration at our backs. That we were all in immediate, lethal danger from a massive, murderous attack by Saddam Hussein and that if we didn't act right now we were fucked.

Mushroom-cloud fucked.

And that the ONLY alternative was to jump. He was advised by wise men of the costs of jumping, of the dangers, of the number of troops necessary, of the extremely complex situation into which he would be dropping. He was warned that beating Iraq militarily would be easy…but that securing the Peace would be hard.

He told us that the fall would be simple. That we would alight in a land where we would be greeted as Liberators. The costs would be negligible. The gains would be high. Virtually painless.

But MOST of all, that the fire was nipping at our heels. It was so urgent, so imperative. that if we didn’t want to see our children perish, we had to jump right now.

So we did.

Convinced by Bush that it was the only option left to us -–and that he had planned carefully for the consequences -- we leaped out of window and into the sky.

We jumped, because we were told we had to.

And in jumping, we committed our troops, our nation and our good name to the brutal calculus of war; to factors beyond our control, and now we are plunging down and down and down into tragedy.

And as we fall we find that the building was not on fire at all.

That the people that pushed us into space had lied to us.

That the parachute of carefully planning that they were supposed to have prepared to save us from ruin had been packed with nothing but empty slogans and ideology-drunk fantasies.

Now we are falling, out of control.

And pointing out that we are falling because of the lies and delusions of the Administration has nothing to do with whether or not I "want the Bush team to succeed” you contemptible little weed. We are watching the country we passionately love plummet into darkness along the exact trajectory we warned you about, and you think that there is any joy in being right? Any pleasure in seeing your beloved wasted and playing in traffic?

Sorry, Friedman, but no.

Now whatever intentions or dreams or hopes or beliefs we might have had have become irrelevant. Flapping our arms doesn’t matter. Prayer doesn’t matter.

Once in the air, the Cold Equations are all that matter.

Once in the air, my nation became a physics demonstration; an object on a downward arc governed by the Laws of Science that the Republicans hate so very much.

And if you had bothered to pull your head out of your ass long enough to actually look, you would see that these are what the faces of Liberals look like…



…as we are forced to watch the fall, and as we are forced to listen to preening rodents hector us for not paying the right kind of attention.

72 comments:

prof fate said...

Beautiful, driftglass. This has been all over the Left blogosphere, but this is the first place I've seen Tommy Boy's outrageous statement about liberals answered as it deserved.

And that reference to "The Cold Equations" was sheer genius (at least for this classic sf geek).

Lee said...

Wow. So good. I've been talking up this blog on dailykos.com. Once again, I see I was justified in doing so.

triozyg said...

Maybe, if we're lucky, some day in a post-Patriot Act age historians will look at these posts and compare them to the pamphlets written around the US revolution and say -- gee, wow, those folks were so worked up in 2005, it seems over the top. And all I can say to them is ... you had to be there.

Rock on...

res ipsa loquitur said...

Friedman's daffy, Drift. There's no other word for it. He's very prone to irrational exuberance. When people are quitting their jobs in droves to sign up with dot.bombs, he waxed rhapsodic about the unlimited potential of the internet and the mastery of 22-year-old vice presidents of business development. When the stock market enjoy its great '90s run-up, he waxed rhapsodic about the unlimited potential of capitalism and the mastery of Mary Meeker. When he "discovered" that the "earth is flat" he waxed rhapsodic about the unlimited potential of Indian call center operatives and the mastery of the treasonous Americans who employ them. Now he's discovered that the Republicans are grossly negligent (at best) and recklessly indifferent to Iraq (forget about the rest of the world, including us). I've no doubt that if, by some slim chance, there is a period of relative calm in Iraq, that he will wax rhapsodic about the unlimited potential of democracy in Iraq and the mastery of the whole of the Bush Crime Family.

Friedman is daffy.

US Blues said...

In a twisted, Gonzo sort of way, it's good that we have idjits like Tom Friedman around to inspire such prose. Gilly crippled his propeller and rudders earlier, this is a torpedo amidship, taking out the main magazine, breaking the boat in half and sending even the rodentia scurrying for the flotsam and jetsom.

PS- Nice to know you got in another Cubs game this year. If you keep this up I may begin to think you're a fan.

driftglass said...

prof fate,
glad you caught that ;-) Years later there was something called, I believe, "The Hot Solutions(?)" where writers came up with various possible solutions.

lee,
Thank you.

Res,
He is usually just an idiot -- really quite an amazing idiot, considering his whole very plush gig comes down to nothing more than simply burbling on about shit that is transparently obvious to everyone else in the room (and why can't we outsource that job?!) --
and I have picnicked on him in the past, but this time he really went to far.

When the day comes when "our failure in Iraqi" becomes a common expression, the thugs who sold and pimped this disaster are going to be looking for a scagegoat and the ONE skill at which the Bush crowd excels is never taking an ounce of responsibility for their own calamatous fuck-ups.

And exactly like 9/11, the likes of Falwell and Robertson will be scrambing for ways to blame queers, feminists, the ACLU and Liberals generally, except this time it will be their own fucking fault...and they'll have millions of dupes and co-conspirators who will have a vested interest in shifting the blame as far away from themselves as possible.

And its just this kind of shit that'll give the next Big Lie momentum.

dutchie said...

"Flat Head" Friedman who when he isn't staking out his imaginary half-acre of "reasonableness" is fancying himself the coiner of brilliant phrases is just greasing the skids for that scramble to denial for his friends. The conservatives won't be so much "wrong" as they will be "well-intentioned but tragically wrong" whereas we will have just been forever and viciously obstructionist and that will be why it all goes so hideously wrong in "Flat Earth Land"
In the meantime everything we care about will have long since been destroyed. I feel more like he pushed us out a window than threatened us until we jumped.



Another brilliant dissection and damn, every time I read you I hear my editor's voice. I'm not sure if you're him or I'm just hearing through the guilt-filter of my gonna-be-missed deadline...hmmm.

Hillbilly Dem said...

I have been reading your blog for quite some time now. To my mind, this is one of your finest pieces of work to date, if not the finest.

Gazetteer said...

So, when one heads down the chute and exits the Fried Man's Universe which freeway/turnpike are you dumped on?

What?

Oh ya, what was I thinking.

Of course, it would be this one.

Mary said...

Bee you tee full!!

Ally said...

Man, you have expressed my frustration so well that I can't stop crying. I'm really starting to regret turning down that free lobotamy.

idyllopus said...

Wow.

Loveandlight said...

I hope you don't mind me repeating here my comment on Friedman's latest splooging that I made at Steve G.'s blog. Friedman's mentality here is that charming American trait of responding to reality breaking through the walls of a house of flimsy, sorry delusion by slathering on more fantasy plaster. It's something of which I am growing quite weary.

Anonymous said...

You've got it. The dam burst quite a while back and nothing will stop the water from running downhill.

Anonymous said...

America, where are you now?
Don't you care about your sons and daughters?
Don't you know, we need you now?
We can't fight alone against the monster!

wisedup said...

sully.heart.friedman
from sully's page
"For my part, I think Friedman's work has been a lonely beacon of pro-war reason for the past couple of years."

hm, ever wonder why its lonely, Sully?

Phoenix Woman said...

Fuck it, Friedman's nothing more than the "Good Cop" to fucking Tierney and Brooks' "Bad Cops" on the NYT's Op-Ed page.

And they wonder why the blogs are kicking the Op-Edders' asses.

And they wonder why DailyKos gets 400,000 hits a day.

I really wish that Krugman, Herbert and Frank Rich would ditch the Times, which obviously hates them anyway, and set up their own version of the Huffington Blog, complete with ads. With the NYT pundits disappearing behind a pay wall soon, they'd probably get more clicks this way.

jedwards said...

listening to an interview on kpfa-berkeley, i learned a new term - "masterbatory activism". many of the blogs i peruse could be labeled as such, but not, i repeat, not our lovely driftglass. he gets right to the heart of it. or maybe the jugular. either works.

fantasy debate:

driftglass/jon stewart versus
condi rice/john bolton?

arghhhh

roxtar said...

jedwards:

that debate reminds me of an old jim croce song:

"and when the cutting was done, the only part that wasn't bloody was the soles of the big man's feet."

you don't mess around with driftglass....

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